Patty's Reviews > Young Bess

Young Bess by Margaret Irwin
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's review
May 08, 2010

really liked it

This is a reprint; the book was originally written in 1944. Elizabeth I is one of my favorite historical figures and I have done quite a bit of reading about her - but most of it is from the time after she ascended to the throne. It was very interesting to read a book that takes you back to the time when she was still a child. Before she became the political genius and great Queen of England.

The book was easy to read and is very detailed as to its period and time. My only issue is that at time it seems that the book switches tone from historical novel to history book in trying to put forth the necessary information to move the story forward. This was, of course, a very challenging time in England's history and there was much intrigue going on as Henry VIII faded away. After his death the short reign of Edward was fraught with strife due to his guardians. Elizabeth's position was precarious and she had many lessons to learn.
Yet it is often forgotten that she was still very young.

The book is an excellent starting point for someone wanting to learn about Elizabeth and this period in history. It is part of a trilogy and the other books are also due to be reprinted. I will eagerly await their publication. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Young Bess.
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Zara Yes, I agree! I'm only part way through this book but I did get annoyed at the switching of tone. The prose is very flowery at points, but I suppose that's because that was the writing style in the early half of the 20th century!

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