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Elizabeth I & Her Circle by Susan Doran
Expected Publication: May 26, 2015 by Oxford University Press, USA
Summary: The inside scoop on Elizabeth I’s inner circle: her family, friends, and the other people close to her throughout her life. The author uses a wide range of original sources including private letters, portraits, and state papers. Doran puts forth a deeper insight into Elizabeth’s emotional and political conduct which challenges many popular myths surrounding her life. She delves into different relationships to get to the truth of their nature, including her relationships with her father, Henry VIII, her step-mothers, and her half siblings, Mary and Edward VI. Almost as important, she provides insight into the relationships with her courtiers and councilors. What really went on during Elizabeth I’s reign?
Review: I have always had a fascination with the Tudors so I was very eager to read this new account of Elizabeth I’s life. So many times these books can be dull and lackluster but Susan Doran’s writing brought history to life in this new book. There were so many new things I learned. One of the things that interested me the most in her account was Elizabeth’s relationship with Henry VIII. In most accounts, Elizabeth is always shown to greatly admire and love her father in a way that makes it seem as if they were very close, even after sentencing her mother to die. Contrary to those beliefs, Doran points out why this was not necessarily the case. Royal children generally do not spend much time with their parents, often seeing them only a few times per year. And even when they do meet, it is not the type of quality time that modern parents share with their children. I thought that this book was incredibly fascinating and would recommend it 100% to any lover of history or of Elizabeth and the Tudor family.