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I, Elizabeth

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,945 Ratings  ·  313 Reviews
Publicly declared a bastard at the age of three, daughter of a disgraced and executed mother, last in the line of succession to the throne of England, Elizabeth I inherited an England ravaged by bloody religious conflict, at war with Spain and France, and badly in debt. When she died in 1603, after a forty-five- year reign, her empire spanned two continents and was united ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published April 24th 1992)
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Jun 18, 2010 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
R.C. Matthews
"I, Elizabeth" is Rosalind Miles' first person narrative of Queen Elizabeth's life from early childhood to the peak of her glorious reign. Honestly, I thought that I would enjoy this novel a great deal more than I actually did. Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine, and I certainly have no qualms with an author taking liberties when they accept the challenge of blending fiction with historical fact. Unfortunately, I was mildly disappointed.

Being of an optimistic nature (and generally a
Patricia Fawcett
An amazing book. Rosaline Miles writes in the first person, so we are reading this account of the life of probably the most powerful woman in history as she might well have written it. Our preconceptions of Elizabeth I are skewed a little by misty myth, particularly the one about the virgin queen. She was also mistress of spin, before anyone knew what that was. Her rallying speech to the fleet at the time of the Spanish Armada, for example: (paraphrased)'I may have the body of a weak and feeble ...more
Hobie Barnes
Aug 04, 2008 Hobie Barnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of the historical figure and popular interpretations of Elizabeth I, I tend to read anything I can get my hands on dealing with this fascinating part of world history. 'I, Elizabeth' interprets the story from Elizabeth's own perspective as if these are her final diaries while recounting her life.

Amusingly, her later self frequently comments on her recollections, usually with regret and embarassment, especially when she's talking about the Earl of Essex, who turned out to be a great disa
Oct 06, 2010 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudor-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I positively LOVE this book! Despite its size, I have read it several times, never tiring of the story. This is written as an autobiography and seeing things told from Elizabeth's viewpoint is amazing. It covers her entire life, from when she was about 4 years old up until about 2 years before her death in 1603. Miles does a wonderful job of getting her "voice" just right. It really shows the struggles she dealt with, publicly and privately. It really shows the sacrifices she (maybe) made to kee ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting a novel that embraced all sides of this Woman and Queen, and I'm glad I picked this one to read. I've read other books that show Elizabeth I as a vain jealous woman, and her character really didn't develop much past that. This book however, doesn't fail to express all aspects of her person. Yes, she was vain AND jealous. But she was also intelligent, strong, passionate, witty, and loving. Whatever faults she had, and every person has faults, she rose above them to lead England ...more
Historical fictional buffs are quite used to the endless supply of Elizabeth Tudor books with beautifully decorated covers. Sometimes, though, there are too many books and too little time to stick to reading one which isn’t as satisfying.

As hard as I tried to “truck” through “ I, Elizabeth”, by Rosalind Miles; I simply could not continue after 200 some odd pages. The novel wasn’t overly scholarly and was accurate enough which I thoroughly welcome in historical fiction literature. However, it st
Jan 22, 2009 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty decent read. I found the beginning to be better than the end as I started to tire of the endless struggles of her rule. I also thought her obsession with the much younger man was a little wierd. It was a much more historical and detailed account than you get with the Philippa Gregory novels, but less of a page-turner at the same time.
I thought this book would never end! How is it that the author turned the great Queen Elizabeth into a whiny, simpering, love-sick fool?!?
Nov 12, 2008 Robyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I got so frustrated at this book when I was reading pages in the 400's or so. It is so historically inaccurate that I had to stop. For other novels you don't expect the level of accuaracy that you do of this book because it is supposed to be written from the perspective of Elizabeth herself. I overlooked a lot of inaccuracies but the way that Miles choses to portray Mary Queen of Scots execution is completely inaccurate. I'm sure it's a good story if you don't know the history behind it. She is ...more
I believe this was the first Historical Fiction book I had read that really sparked my interest in this genre. Before this book I mostly read classics, romance, mystery, Christian Fiction and religious books.

This is also the first book that intriqued me about the Tudors. Queen Elizabeth is one of the women I admire throughout history.

This is one of my favorite books. I've read this twice and own a copy. I enjoyed this even more the second time I read it.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Pretty accurate, from what I can tell, historical fiction. Most of the other stuff seems to me at least plausible, given what we know.

The portrayal of Mary Queen of Scots is fairly negative, but this is written from the perspective of Elizabeth I, hence I don't have a problem with it. (And I don't find the "notorious bad picker" a sympathetic, romantic figure to begin with.)
For a woman trying to be taken seriously in a man's position, the Elizabeth of this book "wept," "raged," and "screamed" an awful lot, especially at her advisors. She's very melodramatic, never just "saying" anything. I've read many books of both fiction and non-fiction about Elizabeth I, and I can't say this one added anything to my understanding of the woman or proposed any new ways of looking at her life. I think the author thought she was adding the perspective of Elizabeth spending her life ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Leigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth I has always fascinated me. The fact that she and I share a birthday only serves to heighten that fascination. Along with historical female icons like Matilda of Tuscany, and Boudica of the Iceni, Elizabeth I served her country with honor, integrity and courage. In a time when women were little more than property, Elizabeth I navigated the world of men with fearless cunning. Her exploits are legendary, but once one knows and understands her motivations, the spectacular nature of her vi ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me get through my steroid shot insomnia last night, and I finally finished the last 100 pages around 4 this morning. It was excellent. I'm so in love with this time period, the Tudor line, and Elizabeth I. She is without a doubt my favorite monarch ever, and the book portrayed her spirit beautifully.

She was a tease, a feminist, vulnerable, yet with a steel core, and so intelligent. Rosalind Miles wrote Elizabeth as a real person, not as an untouchable, emotionless, one-dimensio
Amy Bruno
Rosalind Miles, oh Rosalind happy I am to have found you! You have written a most excellent novel about my favorite monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, and gave me hours of reading ecstasy that I will never forget! I loved every minute of this book!!!!

I, Elizabeth is a fantastic read of the life, loves, trials and tribulations of Queen Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen". We follow Elizabeth from childhood, when she was labeled a "bastard" and her mother a "whore", to the treacherous times befo
Maia B.
If Elizabeth was really the petulant, screaming, angry witch presented in this pitiable novel, then I doubt she would have succeeded so well on England's throne.

Okay, first: I hated her. She didn't take ANYTHING calmly: every other line she was screaming or weeping or kicking her feet. This is Elizabeth I, remember, one of the most powerful and intelligent monarchs ever to have lived, and she proved her male advisers completely WRONG about her "womanly weakness", but in Rosalind Miles's version
Sep 18, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to agree with most people who have reviewed this, I found the first part really good to read, but found myself losing interest the further I got into the book. My the time I got to the last fifty or so pages I was skimming rather than reading it because I didn't care as much about her anymore. I know it was based on history and that limits what the main character can do, but I don't think she needed to moon over Robert for anywhere near as long as she actually did.

However, Rosalind Miles
May 25, 2009 Breanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was anticipating a great historical fiction approach to Queen Elizabeth as the author has many acclaimed novels. I did enjoy the writing but I thought her approach to Elizabeth was crude and frustrating. History hails Elizabeth as the "Virgin Queen". The author spent the whole novel, (600 plus pages) with Elizabeth agonizing over her sexual vulnerability and frustration. Each chapter is dedicated to pages of her pining over "her Robin" in every manner which I believe to be too carnal and licen ...more
Beth Anne
Mar 18, 2008 Beth Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like historical fiction
so. when i started this book...i was all into it, it was crazy good, a real page turner. then i got half way (almost 3/4) through the book, and i was just...well...confused and a bit bored.

it's an extremely long book...and the author, i think purposefully, portrays the "human" side of Elizabeth as a bit of a weak woman at times. i'm no historical buff, or anything, but i just don't like Elizabeth being portrayed as a lovesick fluffy woman. i dont know. it turned me off a bit.

also...there are so
May 10, 2010 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i love historical fiction, particularly anything about the tudors. i can also appreciate any attempt to write from a particular historical figures point of view. and this portrayal of Elizabeth was quite different than others I have encountered - no one author will capture everything about any one historical person so I can work with the differences presented by each author to create 'my own Elizabeth'. with that said, this was way too long. i felt that many themes were so overly used and abused ...more
Sep 23, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this several years ago. I know that I really enjoyed the voice the author gave to Elizabeth. It is worth a re-read.
Mar 10, 2009 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pleasure
This book a novel but I think it doesn't stray too far from the truth of Queen Elizabeth I's life (as far as what I personally know about her). Miles does a good job of writing the struggles of what the first female queen would have went through -- men doubting her, her love life and the pressures of getting married and killing the Mary Queen of Scots. It's written in a first hand account of her life and lets the reader get into Elizabeth's psyche. Great read! Only problem is that because it's p ...more
Apr 06, 2010 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this book took me FOREVER to finish. I’m not sure why, I didn’t find it boring, but it was a slow read. Although it’s “historical fiction” I found the book quite interesting. My favorite part was the beginning when Elizabeth detailed her life in court as a young girl with her father, Henry VIII. I thought the description of his decline was incredible, he is always described as such a “viral” man, however , this author really described what his last few months would have been like. To be ...more
Hannah Spaar
Oct 16, 2015 Hannah Spaar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Okay, I'll admit, this was a re-read. But since I last read it (for probably the tenth time at least, the binding was busted then, too) six years ago, I couldn't remember any of the cadences or even half of the plot, so I decided it counted as really reading it this year.
I was right, because in addition to all I had forgotten, I understood a lot more of its jokes now and was able to take much of what was said with more understanding of the world. And even though I'm sentimental over this book,
Jul 19, 2014 Liza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudor line, a bastard born of the "Great Whore" Anne Boleyn, was known as the Virgin Queen. She never married, but ruled on her own for 40 years. This novel delves into her reign from the day of her accession, with all of the politics, rumors, plots, and passion in her life. She had to rebuff suitors so as not to create war, had to protect her throne from would be heirs such as Mary Queen of Scots, and had to rule firmly but fairly so she could avoid uprising and reb ...more
I'm thinking it isn't worth it to be a queen. This poor woman had a tragic life. She was constantly going through intrigue and worried about Mary queen of Scots taking her throne. She was publicly called a bastard and then almost lost her country to Spain and France when they joined forces to force her Protestant land into becoming Catholic. Her one true love, Dudley ended up marrying someone else because he couldn't wait forever on her. She ends up executing his son. She spent a good deal of ti ...more
The first third was pretty good, but then Elizabeth is portrayed as a whiny bitch. Didn't work for me.
Mar 14, 2008 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This might have been a good book if it was about 250 pages shorter.
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Rosalind Miles is an author born and raised in England and now living in both Los Angeles and Kent, England. She has written both works of fiction and non-fiction. As a child, Miles suffered from polio, and had to undergo several months of treatment. After being accepted to a junior women's college, Miles acquired a working knowledge of Latin and Greek, along with developing her life-long love of ...more
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“Oh, I know, I know, she was a sweet girl, a simple country girl; everyone told me that, both then and since. But I could not forgive her animal dumbness - worse, her rank sensuality, easy as any cow's, and like her dumpling breasts, quite irresistable to men - while those of us whom God has made to think and feel, who are strung out like harps along the wires of our own nature, why, we are rarer than music and must content ourselves with smaller audiences.” 3 likes
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