Legacy: The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionate Queen -- and the Three Men Who Loved Her
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Legacy: The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionate Queen -- and the Three Men Who Loved Her

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,572 ratings  ·  136 reviews
A Spellbinding Tale of England's Most Passionate Queen-and the Three Men Whose Destinies Belonged to Her Alone.

Beloved for its stunning storytelling, Legacy offers an exquisite portrait of the queen who defined an era. Tracing the unlikely path from her tragic childhood to her ruthless confrontations with Mary, Queen of Scots, and capturing in all its glory her brilliant...more
Paperback, 649 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1983)
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Misfit
Mar 16, 2011 Misfit rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Elizabeth Tudor
I'd give it 10 stars if I could!! AWESOME! An absolutely brilliant portrayal of Elizabeth I. The only thing I've ever seen come close to capturing Elizabeth so clearly and brilliantly is the old Masterpiece Theatre series on PBS done back in 70's or 80's with Glenda Jackson. All the charaterizations in the book are incredibly well drawn and detailed, particulary Elizabeth, Dudley and Cecil.

The author also has a wonderful way of describing the times, the scenes, the clothes, etc. The author's op...more
Kay
This book is the reason why I buy almost all of my books rather than borrowing from friends or the library.

I first read this book when I was in middle school. I borrowed it from the library, lost myself in the dangerous and glittering world of court intrigue and politics, and read it in a little over two sittings. It also happened to be that this was one of the last books I read before we moved to a different state. In that hectic time, I returned the book to the library almost as soon as I fin...more
Orsolya
Who doesn’t know about Elizabeth Tudor? Whether it is for her famous mother, her pirate conquests, or her many (supposed) lovers; the Virgin Queen has titillated for centuries. Susan Kay’s “Legacy” attempts to present Elizabeth from the eyes of men in her life, both romantic and political.

Susan Kay’s “Legacy” felt like two separate books (which could be argued as a lack of cohesive tact). The early chapters were much too disjointed with an overall look at events in Elizabeth’s early life (and th...more
Rio (Lynne)
3.75 Stars. The author didn't make Elizabeth out to be the perfect heroine, like most HF authors do today, which was a positive. The story is seen through the eyes of the men in her life, letting you see all sides of Elizabeth. I simply didn't get attached to the characters or even Elizabeth (which I usually do) so I wasn't emotionally attached to this read. I am very familiar with Elizabeth's reign, so even though parts of this book didn't flow, I had no problem following. The writing style jus...more
Marquise
This novel had, even before I finished reading it, the requirements for having a place in my favourite books. Now that I’ve finished, I’m glad to confirm that it is firmly placed in such a place.

I don’t know if I’ll ever read any other novel set in this time period, but in any case I have this feeling that Legacy has forever altered my expectation of Tudor historical novels—that is to say, has ruined me forever for any other such novel—because if I didn’t have great expectations about them befor...more
Barb
This is an amazing masterpiece of historical fiction. The dust jacket on my copy says that Susan Kay worked on this novel for fifteen years. I can say it honestly felt like she did. The history is comprehensive, the characterizations of the historical figures are vivid and realistic, the insight and motivations Kay offers for them are interesting and each character is realistic, three dimensional and matures over time.

This is not a quick and breezy beach read by any stretch of the imagination,...more
Lynn
Wow, what a book! For me this book did a remarkable job of telling the story of Queen Elizabeth's life, it was well written, intriguing and the author kept the story moving. This book is broken down into five different areas of Elizabeth's life, The Girl, The Woman, The Queen, The Goddess and The Effigy. What I took away from reading this book was: how strong and intelligent Elizabeth was, she spoke six different languages and was more intelligent than most men of her time. How Elizabeth had a t...more
Moppet
Legacy, for me, was historical fiction gold: a book I loved as a teenager which was just as wonderful second time around. It's a cradle-to-grave retelling of the life of Elizabeth I, and it's 647 pages of class.

The prologue introduces Elizabeth as a troubled young princess, imprisoned in the Tower of London by her sister Mary and facing possible execution as a traitor:

She sat on a low stone window-seat, wrapped in a cloak against the creeping cold and, like the solitary stone pillar that support
...more
Marilyn
This is an excellent novel by Susan Kay depicting the life of Elizabeth from early childhood, with a precarious struggle through adolescence, her sister Mary's suspicions of disloyalty, her imprisonment in the Tower through Traitor's Gate from which few, very few ever emerged from alive until finally, she reaches, against all odds, the throne of England. It's a story of survival and the emotional effects of dealing with three men that figure prominently in her life: Thomas Seymour, the Lord High...more
Christy English
I had the pleasure of reading this novel when it came out in the 80's, and the book has stood the test of time. A beautiful novel, and a beautiful portrait of Elizabeth I. This novel is the definitive version of Elizabeth for me.
Sherry H
This book explores the life of Elizabeth I, focusing, according to the summary, on her relationships with three key men in her life (Thomas Seymour, Robert Dudley, William Cecil). Or was it Dudley, Cecil and Essex? Or was it Phillip of Spain, Dudley and James of Scotland? Let's just say that there were more than "three men whose destinies belonged to her alone."

The first third of the book, about her childhood and ascension to the throne, were very interesting. I knew how it would turn out, but s...more
Xenia0201
Outstanding. This is probably the most intelligently written novel I've read of Elizabeth I. Meticulously researched, Kay's character version of Elizabeth is nothing short of a psychological analysis. Kay adds her own fictional elements to further allow the reader a deep dive into Elizabeth's soul, giving an imagined makeup of her persona. The Elizabeth we see in this novel is a cunning survivor, forever depending on her fierce intellect to remain alive for three reigns before finally inheriting...more
Alicia
Nov 03, 2007 Alicia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those obsessed with Elizabeth & the Earl of Leicester
Well-researched, very engaging look at Elizabeth I. The author took 10 years to write it and yet somehow resisted the urge to drown the reader in detailed descriptions of the era. Something I've no doubt I could not have resisted, & actually wished for more of. However, she does a remarkable job of creating a psychological portrait of Elizabeth, reconstructing pivotal events through the viewpoints of the 3 principals she focuses on: E., Robert Dudley (the Earl of L.), & William Cecil (la...more
Anna
Rating: 3.5 stars Review to follow.

Buddy read with Jemidar, Rio, Orsolya, Tom, Lynn and Jackleen :-)

Gail Amendt
Although I have read a lot about the Tudors, most of it has been about Henry VIII and his many wives, and I have never read a book about his daughter, Elizabeth I. I knew that I wanted to read a really good book about this great queen, not just any book about her, and with all the good reviews of this novel, I thought I had found that really good book. Unfortunately this book left me feeling somewhat disappointed. It's not that it was a poorly researched piece of fluff like so many books written...more
Isis

Coming into this book, I’d yet to read a definitive novel of Elizabeth’s life, something which seemed a bit of a mystery, as Elizabeth is one of the most well known figures of history. Having read Margaret George’s Elizabeth last year, I was impressed with the quality of writing and the vivid detail in which Elizabeth and her times were rendered, but I couldn’t help feeling a tiny bit disappointed that the novel only covered the autumn and winter of Elizabeth’s life, from the 1588 armada onwards...more
Mrsdarcy
Aug 01, 2009 Mrsdarcy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to read something fairly close to the truth
Highly recommended life of Elizabeth, far better than most historical fiction. I've had my copy for years and have read it countless times. It's well-researched and weaves some intriguing ideas into the story of Elizabeth's life and reign. For example, it suggests that Elizabeth deliberately put the catastrophic Darnley onto Mary's path, confident she'd fall for him and that he would prove enough of a problem to prevent Mary having time to covet Elizabeth's throne. It also suggests a solution to...more
Gaile
Very early in life the axe hung over the head of this young girl. It was enough to give her nightmares, cause physical illnesses and forever associate being under a man's control with death.
Elizabeth wanted either war or executions. Once she secured the crown after surviving her sister's Mary's reign by the skin of her teeth, Elizabeth put the welfare of her subjects first. Like a mother, she was willing to lie, cheat and even execute (something she always hated to even think about) to secure th...more
Rebecca Huston
A book that I was very happy to see come back into print last year. Smart, well-written account of Queen Elizabeth I from the cradle to the grave, and the various personalities, plots and achievements in her life. I think this one is my favourite of all the various fictional accounts of Elizabeth, both because of the dialog, which is very believable, the characters, whom the author does not short, and Elizabeth herself, depicted with her jealousy, temper tantrums and ability to connive intact. A...more
Casey Roach
This book took me forever to finish, it must of taken me somewhere between 6-8mo. to read and it didn't help that the other book I was reading at the time was the the bore feast Tale of Two Cities... (I did finish this book and not the latter thou) This is my first venture into Elizabethan fiction and I'm not eager to proceed further.

Like a previous reviewer mentioned the first half of the book about Elizabeth's childhood was the most interesting part. Having seen The Tudors it was easy to fol...more
Allie
The first half is a definite 5 stars… the second half 4... and I wasn't very fond of the ending... more thoughts to come later. But its definitely. The best book I have read on Elizabeth.
Lin
I read this book many years ago and loved it. My first book was a library book and now that they have reprinted it - I own it. Still the best book on Elizabeth.
Tanya
I really enjoyed reading this book! It is a historical fiction detailing Queen Elizabeth I life. Very entertaining read!
Tricia Saucier
I am a bit of a fanatic about Elizabeth I. This is one of the best books about her life that I have ever read.
Jemidar

Buddy read with Anna, Rio (Lynne), Orsolya, Tom, Lynn and Jackleen :-).
Laura
Jul 24, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Lilly Flora
The best book on Elizabeth`s story, highly recommended to everyone.
Elspeth G. Perkin
With a writing style that mixes moving lyrical passages with historical events and imaginative dialogue, Susan Kay's debut novel Legacy: The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionate Queen -- and the Three Men Who Loved Her is an excellent introduction to the life of Elizabeth Tudor (or better known as Elizabeth I). Ms. Kay has created a vivid reflection of "The Virgin Queen" with mirror shard-like sections entitled The Girl, The Woman, The Queen, The Goddess and the finally The Ef...more
S.J. Kincaid
It happened in seventh grade. I picked this book up and started reading. The first sentence was, "He was a small rat, but bolder than most, with a disproportionately long tail which curled behind him on the stone floor, losing itself in the half-gloom of a solitary candle's light." The prologue of the book went onto to focus upon the girl, Elizabeth Tudor, who is sitting in the Tower of London, waiting for the moment her sister, the queen, signs her death warrant.

This book is a page-turner, impo...more
Sabrina
This was quite a book. We flowed through the years like nobody's business and for the most part I enjoyed the ride. Susan Kay is a lovely writer and I had no problem following her pace, although, I did feel at times that major events were glossed over.

It seemed repetitive also that major characters would have a revelation - a moment of clarification where "no more, never again, I could see it clearly now"! And yet, it would happen to the same character a couple of years later that left me thinki...more
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Tudor History Lovers: Legacy by Susan Kay 8 49 Jul 23, 2014 02:58AM  
  • Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain (Elizabeth Trilogy, #3)
  • Gay Lord Robert (Tudor Saga, #11)
  • The Concubine
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard
Susan Kay (b. 1953) is a writer.

She is most known for her book, Phantom, which expands upon the history of Erik, the character from Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, in an episodic format of seven chapters from different characters' points of view.

Susan Kay did not travel to Iran to research the novel, although she did research in person at the Paris Opera House.

Her first novel was Legacy,...more
More about Susan Kay...
Phantom Legacy: The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionate Queen -- And the Three Men Who Loved Her Jamais Vu Reward Upper Intermediate. Resource Pack شبح اپرای پاریس

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“Men like Robin were never content, and men like Robin were all she would ever love, grasping, ambitious reflections of herself... He would begin to plot and scheme behind her back, building up a court faction... To emerge from that final conflict as the victor, it would be necessary to kill him. And she knew she was capable of doing it-- it was as simple as that.” 3 likes
“He saw the Queen and saw her for the first time with the mask of friendship removed, a figure suddenly as ruthless and terrible as ever her father had been... All their dazzling intimacy was an illusion, a mere straw in the wind, for in the last resort he was but a subject, as her mother had been.” 3 likes
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