Catherine's Reviews > The Lady Elizabeth

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
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Dec 05, 08

Read in November, 2008

I read Weir's Eleanor of Aquitane and was bored stiff by all the contradicting accounts she included. You really wanted her to take a side, and she just wanted to give you all the information she had dug up. Well, this novelized version of Elizabeth I's life preceding her coronation does take sides. You have to credit Weir with creating a sympathetic character out of someone who tried during her reign to obliterate any trace of weakness or even of her past. But one of the first things Weir does is violate her own sense of what actually happened. She personally believes Elizabeth was a virgin, but in the first third of the novel, she has Elizabeth having sex with her stepfather and then miscarrying the child. At that point I about gave up. I mean, if the author herself doesn't believe what she's portraying, you can feel it, and the whole scene and ensuing months of Elizabeth's life suffer in the telling. She tried to be Philippa Gregory, but I really wanted Weir to take the high road rather than giving in to pressures from her publisher and whoever else decided she needed to include a sex scene. This was definitely a disappointment.
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