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The Lady Elizabeth

(Elizabeth I #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  23,214 ratings  ·  1,231 reviews
Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England's most intriguing and powerful queen. Even at age t ...more
Hardcover, 483 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Ballantine Books
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Debra Petersen It does contain a few sexual scenes including her identifying her sexuality and also a sex scene where she sleeps with Thomas Seymour. It also talks…moreIt does contain a few sexual scenes including her identifying her sexuality and also a sex scene where she sleeps with Thomas Seymour. It also talks about how he sexually harassed her until he finally bedded her. Just be aware that this is a story that will contain trigger warnings for some and should not be read by children.(less)

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3.97  · 
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 ·  23,214 ratings  ·  1,231 reviews

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Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Nadine Doolittle
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
I expected more from an historian. Weir's imaginary account of Elizabeth I's early years is a bodice-ripper. The problem with academics writing fiction is they lack imagination. Young Elizabeth is described as a "minx" whose "body betrays her" when she falls for the debatable charms of her stepfather--thus explaining why she refuses men thereafter to become the Virgin Queen. Blood, mess, childbirth--Elizabeth recoils from the very idea of marriage.

There's nothing wrong with creating an imaginar
Anna Karras
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Here is another one I was asked to review for Library Journal.

OMG, so good!

This is the second fiction novel from Alison Weir, the fabulous Tudor historian who wrote many biographies, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and The Children of Henry VIII. But last year she gave us her first foray into fiction about Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for about a week between Edward VI and Mary I. That one was fascinating since I knew very little about her. I know quite a bit about Elizabeth I, and this
To me, Elizabeth I is the most interesting of all the English monarchs. This novel is about the young Elizabeth, which may be a more remarkable story than that of her as Queen Elizabeth. She is very lucky to have survived, let alone become Queen.

Her mother was executed as a traitor, she was proclaimed illegitimate, her father was the seemingly mad (my word) Henry VIII, and she had many other detractors as well, not the least being her two siblings, Edward and Mary. But she survived her tribulati
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not Recommended
10 days! It took me 10 days to plod my way through this 400 page book.

I kept coming up with reasons NOT to read this. I cleaned out junk drawers, broke down cardboard boxes, sorted through my winter clothes, organized my armoire, etc. And when evening rolled around (my usual time for reading), I surfed the Internet, played games on my tablet, watched television, calculated my taxes, etc. I did just about ANYTHING other than read this book. I never seemed to be "in the mood" for it.

To put it blu
May 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Alison Weir is very easy to read. She is in her element writing this kind of historical fiction, because she has written so many biographies on the Tudors, including the Wives of Henry VIII which I loved. I also really enjoyed Innocent Traitor. Unlike Philippa Gregory, Weir's writing is based on actual facts. Do not get me wrong, I loved Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, but it had very little based on fact, it was made into an entirely different drama. My only issue with this is that I have read ...more
Rio (Lynne)
The story telling was 4 stars, the fictional liberties were 1 1/2 stars. Yes, I know it's a fictional book, but I expect more from a "historian" than a bunch of cliches. In Weir's author notes, she says she enjoyed running with this story, but stated she stayed true to the facts. I did not like the portrayal of Kat (Elizabeth's governess) She was immature, annoying and I simply wanted to slap her. The problem with knowing Tudor history is hating to see the myths...Anne Boleyn and the 6th finger, ...more
Morana Mazor
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Obzirom da su povijesni romani moj omiljeni ž onda još Tudori... (točnije Elizabeta I) pa još i to da sam ovu knjigu dugo, dugo željela čitati nisam baš objektivna u ovom osvrtu.. ;) Meni je ovo sve super.. Priča prati onaj rani dio života Elizabete Tudor, od njezine 3. god pa do trenutka kada postaje kraljica. Likovi, događaj temelje se na povijesnim činjenicama, začinjeno, naravno sa dozom fikcije. I sve skupa je meni odlično. Za ljubitelje žanra- obvezatno štivo. :)
I've read a couple of Weir's books, fiction and history and so far I've been very impressed.

I sometimes really struggle with the story of Elizabeth, she is a woman I greatly admire but her life sometimes lacks the excitement her parents had. I keep trying to figure this out and I think the conclusion is that I don't like the men in her life. Thomas Seymour and Robert Dudley are the times when she appears weakest and they are not worthy men in my opinion. I know they are important parts of her l
Sotiris Karaiskos
A very interesting fictional portrayal of the life of Queen Elizabeth the first before her ascension to the throne. The book is divided into three parts describing different periods. In the first, the writer deals with her childhood in a very tender manner that shows us that despite her position she was also a little girl like all the others, looking for love and affection. In the second she deals with her highly controversial relationship with her stepfather but I found this point somewhat exag ...more
Dec 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Historical novels are one of my guilty, but infrequent, pleasures. I have little patience with archaic dialogue, for one thing, and I chafe at too much fictional corpulence draped over an historical skeleton. But when the author of a fictional novel is also a well-respected historian who's taken her first turn with those characters and events as a non-fiction writer, then we're talking a different-colored horse altogether. Alison Weir's "The Lady Elizabeth" is such a horse. Having already writt ...more
Loved, loved, loved this was a daunting four hundred plus page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed..and of course it combined all my favorite elements to an amazing book, a strong woman with power, drama and secrets, at least one major scene that makes me reread with my mouth wide open and my weakness:the Tudor dynasty. This is the story of dear Elizabeth, daughter of the infamous Anne Boleyn and her rise to be the longest ruling, most effective and greatest queen England has ever known, r ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Since I'm an avid Anglophile, I couldn't resist this book. Even though I've read many books on the subject and know the story, it showed it to me from a different angle, and added a lot to my understanding of the frame of mind of the main character, Elizabeth I, and others around her. The book follows her since the death of her mother Anne Boleyn, to her becoming queen. It is an amazing story, filled not only with some very interesting and unique characters with fascinating personalities, but al ...more
In tutta onestà non so proprio moltissimo su Elisabetta I e i Tudor in generale, per cui ero un po' in ansia all'idea di leggere una versione romanzata prima di una biografia, senza sapere cosa era vero e cosa no.
Di buono c'è che Alison Weir non è Philippa Gregory (che dopo tre libri ho abbandonato senza troppi problemi, chiedendomi cosa le abbiano fatto i Tudor di male) e neanche Jeanne Kalogridis.
In effetti ho apprezzato un sacco che la Weir si sia premurata di dire che alcune svolte narrative
Učitaj se!
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Ova je knjiga jedan veoma opširan i vrlo zanimljiv povijesni roman o Elizabeti I, koji započinje u njenom djetinjstvu, a završava njenim usponom na tron. Kod povijesnih romana uvijek postoji problem unaprijed nam znanog kraja. Ponekad je teško pronaći neku nepredvidivu situaciju u romanu za koji već znaš kako završava, i u kojem su ti poznate brojne činjenice i način na koji su se pojedini događaji opisani u njemu odvili. Alison Weir tom je problemu uspjela doskočiti upravo odabirom razdoblja El ...more
Samantha Leighanne
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads, reviewed
I like a good historical fiction. I have read pretty extensively on the Tudor era, but I haven't read much as far as Elizabeth is concerned.
I found myself a little bored at first because it followed Elizabeth's childhood and I was pretty familiar with the events during that time, so I wasn't really getting anything new. However, once her father dies, things got more interesting.
Weir paints Elizabeth as an extremely intelligent and headstrong young woman and it through her own wit that she survi
Steven Peterson
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alison Weir has authored an intriguing fictional representation of "Lady" Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I). Her understanding of history provides a detailed context in which this story is placed. Since I am not a historian of the era, I cannot comment on historical accuracy per se. Nonetheless, from having read a few other works regarding the era, it does not seem too far off the mark.

The story depicts Elizabeth, bastard daughter of Henry VIII, as a survivor. Her early life often placed her i
4.5 stars

This was my first Alison Weir book ever and I can't I was disappointed. Weir is known for her historical non-fiction, but sometimes non-fiction can be dry and overall boring, so to give myself the best impression of Weir's knowledge, I decided to pick up one of her historical fiction novels.

The Lady Elizabeth focuses on Queen Elizabeth I before she was queen. It follows her life as she tries to survive as her family members are put on and off the throne. 

What I liked most about this nov
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Weir's historical novel is a strange little paradox; at times I found it unputdownable, but there were also many moments when it read like a slog. This is because the history being told here is very dense, though wholly captivating. Weir mentions in her author's note that she omitted some details to avoid repetition, but good lord, at least half of this book is just rehashed scenes of Elizabeth going to court, being imprisoned in some shape or form, then being sent back to Hatfield, times 100. N ...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Jul 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Royalty buffs and Tudor lovers
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Jennifer Tudor
This book is about the life of Queen Elizabeth I, and highlights from the day her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded to the day she became Queen upon the death of her sister Mary Tudor. Although I already knew the rudiments of the story, the book helped to fill in a lot of the gaps. I thoroughly enjoyed Weir's portrayal of Elizabeth and her wit and intelligence. I felt at times, though, that she portrayed her as a little too high-strung. What most fascinated me was the portrayal throughout the bo ...more
May 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'll admit that after having read most of Weir's nonfiction work, I expected alot. Maybe thats why,for me,her foray into another genre fell so flat. The plot doesn't stay strictly historically accurate (at least according to her own nonfiction on Elizabeth) but this could be forgiven if her characters were just more, well, believable. The writing style lacks the immediacy necessary to draw the reader into the plot and connect with the characters, which seem to be somewhat stiff and one-dimension ...more
Sonia Gomes
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: For Royalty buffs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Between Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory who have both written about the wives and times of King Henry VIII, I feel as if I'm becoming an expert on that era. This book is nicely researched and written. Though it is not as deep in description and detail as Gregory's books, it is a very satisfying read.

I always thought being the Queen of England would be a nice peaceful existence in which you dressed beautifully and had lots of money. That may be the way the Queen lives now but certainly not in th
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Weir covers the years of Elizabeth's life from the age of about three, when her mother, Anne Boleyn, was decapitated, to the day she becomes imperious as Queen Elizabeth I.
Weir in her author notes expresses the fact that she is foremost an historian, but because there are certain fantastic rumors covering the adolescent years of Elizabeth's life, she took the opportunity to spread some royal gossip. Therefore, some of this book may be more fiction than fact; we just have no hard evidence.
The L
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir is an exciting addition to the realm of Tudor fiction. The story follows Lady Elizabeth from when she is three years old to when she is become Queen of England and all the trials in between.

I am very impressed with Alison Weir’s storytelling ability. I have not yet read any of her non-fiction work but as she is an historian first, I appreciated the level of detail and historical account in this novel. The conversations between characters and descriptions of Eng
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
Shelves: librarybooks
A great many novels have been written about Elizabeth I, and still the market is not yet satiated. I picked this novel up wondering what new insights or interpretations could Ms Weir possibly bring to the fictional portrayal of Elizabeth.

Ms Weir’s novel opens with Elizabeth being told of her mother’s death in 1536, by her half sister Mary, and takes us through Elizabeth’s life until the time when the death of Mary in 1558 makes her Queen of England. Ms Weir addresses three distinct phases in Eli
Ana O
Nov 10, 2017 marked it as to-read

As the tall young woman pulled back the curtains and opened her window, the sun streamed in, burnishing her waist-length wavy hair. Her face was pale, her posture dignified. The severely cut black gown set off her slender figure to advantage, but its high-standing collar lined with fine white lawn and its lack of adornment suggested modesty and purity. There was a gravity about her that made her seem older than her nineteen years, and yet there was something of the coquette too. One only had t
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this romp through 16th century royal court life. Whilst initially put off by princess Elizabeth speaking complex sentences at two and a half, I thoroughly enjoyed this mostly historical but partly speculative look at Elizabeth 1st's childhood and young womanhood until she became queen. The author did acknowledge that she makes Elizabeth a tad precocious but apparently it is known/recorded that she had a keen intellect from an early age so I've forgiven her (the author).
Sue Hopkins
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, highly engaging read! As always loved the writing, and found I couldn't put the book down. Loved learning about the early life of Elizabeth 1. I love historical fiction so loved this! Esp as easy read so hopefully appealing to wise range of readers.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens, and of historical fiction. Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her formal training in history at teacher training

Other books in the series

Elizabeth I (2 books)
  • The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I
“It did not do to give your heart to a man so entirely, she thought. Men did not value what they came by easily. Once you loved, you laid yourself open to pain.” 10 likes
“She had already decided that, when she grew up, she was going to do whatever she pleased and not let anyone order her about.” 10 likes
More quotes…