Customer Reviews for

Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen

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  • Posted September 6, 2010

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    Anentertaining glimpse at the famous queen from a unique perspective

    This is a fascinating refreshing biography of Elizabeth I as Tracy Borman concentrates on the women in the monarch's life and how they directly or indirectly influenced how she ruled and how she lived. Her father decapitated her mother Anne Boleyn and one of her stepmothers Katherine Howard, which led to young Elizabeth to beware of all men. When her older half-sister Mary became queen, Elizabeth observed how her sibling had to bow to her husband, the Spanish monarch; which affirmed her theory no man will rule her life. She learned to be flexible and not an ideologue on the hot button social issues of the times like religion; unlike "Bloody Mary". Men were beneath her because she distrusted them to allow her to be an equal so she kept them bowing at arm's length; yet still she preferred male company as women were perceived as her true competitors so those rivals whom she felt were a threat like two female cousins were incarcerated.

    Making a strong case that the women in the early life of Elizabeth I was major influences on how she ruled, historian Tracy Borman refreshes the look at the monarch. Using the females including those at court who feared the Queen, Ms. Borman makes a strong case that the ladies, especially the queens who preceded her, taught Elizabeth lessons in survivability, which is why she allegedly remained an unmarried virgin. Although there is some speculation filling historical vacuums, Elizabeth's Women is an entertaining glimpse at the famous queen from a unique perspective.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One Of The Best Books On Elizabeth I That I Have Read

    I loved this book! I ordered it from Britain before it's US release because I did not want to wait (check out the Book Depository or Amazon UK when you simply can't wait for a US release of a book ). I think this is just about my favorite book about Elizabeth I. It's jam packed with small details and information about Elizabeth that are most often overlooked by many authors who seem to concentrate on her relationships with men and her political acumen.

    This book is about Elizabeth I - the queen who has always captured my imagination and has held my interest. I wish I could time travel so that I could hear her voice - see her walk. No - not yet possible!
    I think that Elizabeth was so much more than we can ever know. I think she was, most likely rather officious and rude to many of her ladies and maids in waiting - but charming and gregarious when handsome men were involved! That being said said Elizabeth was an amazing female ruler in a time when it was anathema for a country to have such a strong, apt, female leader! This book is about the women in Elizabeth's close circle of trusted female confidants. It's an aspect of Elizabeth's life - a large aspect of her life, that is often overlooked in favor of the larger issues of Elizabeth's life. The book is broken into sections that cover, her mother, Anne Boleyn, her sister, Mary, her step-mothers, Jane, Catherine and Katherine, her governesses, ladies in waiting, cousins, men and the travails of being a female ruler in a country that believed no female could effective rule by herself. Although this edition was 392 pages of relatively small print it flashed by like a novel - I could not put it down!

    Ms. Borman's style is easy to read but she in no way "dumbs down" the information. I am off to order her first book now - if I can find one that I can afford that is! " Henrietta Howard: King's Mistress. Queen's Servant". If you love history I think you too will love this book! No disappointment here !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    Great Book

    Verry good book......love it!

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