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 under one church, victorious in war, and blessed with an overflowing treasury. What’s more, her favorites—William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Walter Raleigh—had made
the Elizabethan era a cultural Golden Age still remembered today.
But for Elizabeth the woman, tragedy went hand in hand with triumph. Politics and scandal forced the passionate queen to reject her true love, Robert Dudley, and to execute his stepson, her much-adored Lord Essex. Now in this spellbinding novel, Rosalind Miles brings to life the woman behind the myth. By turns imperious, brilliant, calculating, vain, and witty, this is the Elizabeth the world never knew. From the days of her brutal father, Henry VIII, to her final dying moments, Elizabeth tells her story in her own words.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: I, Elizabeth|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||I, Elizabeth|
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Chapter OneHe was a man in his prime and a stranger to the word "no." He had looked upon the world for forty years, over twenty of them as a king. His tall body had filled out with age, indulgence, pleasure and action to give him a huge and powerful frame, on which his rich velvet coats and satin doublets, puffed, embroidered and slashed, hung like the royalty he was.
In every group he towered above other men. He bestrode the world, straddling the earth foursquare, as if he owned it, his jeweled dagger swinging carelessly beside the thrust of his great curving codpiece, and in his green and gold, purple and white, scarlet, silver and fox, outshone them all.
I speak of him like a lover, no, my father as I first remember him? His splendor, his danger, his might? Perhaps I was-in spite of everything-at least a little in love with him then, for so all the world was too.
Now I was ten years out of my nurse's arms, and he ten years nearer his grave-years that had dealt him a hard hand of suffering, sickness and betrayal. Yet was he looking, as he stood at the altar, magnificent in gold and rubies, in furred crimson surcoat and plumed hat, as handsome, as glorious as ever-and as cheerful as any man may, for what he was about to do.
The occasion was his sixth adventure into wedlock, his sixth attempt to make a marriage that would withstand wind and weather, to find a woman who would please him, and a pleasure that would last. The bride was Dame Katherine Parr, rich, religious, and comely in cream brocade, the three months' widow of the late Lord Latimer, and of another rich and aged husband before him. Squinting at the couple betw...