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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review - QUEEN OF THE REALM - Jean Plaidy

Beautifully written in the first person, the story told from Elizabeth I's point of view is crafted so cleverly that it seems like a memoir as well as a story as we go through her entire life. From the age of four when she knew that trouble was afoot with her mother Anne Boleyn to growing up in the shadow of so many step mothers and siblings the story goes step by step to what Elizabeth eventually became.

It was very interesting to see how focussed Elizabeth was from the very beginning, knowing that it was quite possible that she will one day reign over England. Once the thought got into her head, and it did quite early in her life, this was uppermost in her mind and the country and the people were of paramount importance for her.

A brilliant strategist and politician, she seemed to be weak where men were concerned liking those who flattered her and wooed her! At the same time domineering and conciliatory when it suited her Elizabeth was a brilliant sovereign who used every opportunity and person in her court to her benefit.

The one sad feature of her reign was her overwhelming love for Lord Dudley which she repressed as she felt that being single was a better proposition for the country than if she got married and allowed someone to "commandeer" her. This heartbreak and her guilt which she carried for ever whenever she ordered an execution were the two emotional features of her story.

A fascinating woman and a magnificent sovereign as depicted by Jean Plaidy.


Sam said...

I'm seeing Jean Plaidy books everywhere at the moment! Elizabeth is a fascinating character, so this one sounds like a good read.

CHE said...

I've actually read books based fully or partly on Elizabeth, but how clever to make her the narrator of her own story. This perspective alone would make me want to read this. Nice review.

Daphne said...

I've had this one on my shelf for a really long time - I really should read it!

Amused said...

I love a good historical fiction and this one sounds great!

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I haven't read any Jean Plaidy books. I love historical fiction, so I think I should give her a try. This one sounds great. Love Elizabeth!

Blodeuedd said...

I am glad you are enjoying Plaidy :)

Holly said...

Loved Plaidy's whole Queens of England series (except maybe for the one on Mary). I remember liking this one quite a bit :)