The Reign Of Elizabeth I

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The reign of Elizabeth I was marked by change: England finally became a Protestant nation, and England's relations with her neighbours were also changing, in part because of religious controversies. Elizabeth's reign was also significant in terms of changing gender expectations, and in terms of attitudes towards those considered different. While a woman ruled, others, often at the bottom of the social scale, were condemned as witches.

Carole Levin evaluates Elizabeth and the significance of her reign in the context both of her age and of our own, examining the increasing cultural diversity of Elizabethan England and the impact of the reign of an unmarried queen, as well as exploring the more familiar themes of religion, foreign policy, plots and conspiracies. Levin's fresh perspective will be welcomed by all those interested in this exceptional queen and her reign.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Queen Elizabeth I is among the most written about women in history. Her long reign (1558-1603) was marked by enormous economic growth, the beginnings of a global empire and unprecedented cultural achievement. The "age of Elizabeth" was also the age of William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh and Philip Sidney. Levin, professor of history at the University of Nebraska, has penned a brief, well-written overview of Elizabeth's political, religious and cultural significance. Levin is especially skilled at examining the links between religion and foreign policy. From her father, Henry VIII, Elizabeth inherited an Anglican religious establishment that was governed by the monarch. Elizabeth's genius was in creating an intricate balance between those who advocated a return to Catholicism and those Protestant radicals who favored a more Calvinist establishment (i.e., Puritans). Elizabeth's "latitudinarian" religious policy pleased neither Catholics nor Puritans, but it allowed her to keep the peace. Elizabeth's foreign policy was also dominated by religion. England's archenemies were Catholic Spain and France. Her allies were the Protestant Dutch, who were at war with the occupying Spanish. Unmarried, Elizabeth brilliantly used marriage negotiations to maintain the European balance of power. Spain constantly plotted Elizabeth's assassination, hoping to replace her with her Catholic cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. Elizabeth had Mary executed in 1587. In 1588, the Spanish Armada was roundly defeated as it tried to attack England: it was the watershed moment in Elizabeth's reign. Levin's concise account seems aimed at the general reader, but it's overpriced for that market. Serious historians will want to consult more comprehensive scholarship, such as John Neale's magnificent Queen Elizabeth I. (Feb. 4) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"...she has succeeded in providing students and instructors with a lively and interesting new text."--Victoria de la Torre, Albion
"...a short but well-annotated volume to clarify the history of this famous Queen...."--Barbara Friedmann, Renaissance Magazine

"...a well-written overview of Elizabeth's political, religious and cultural significance..." --Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780333658666
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Carole Levin is Professor of History, University of Nebraska.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Overview of Elizabeth's Life and Reign 5
2 Religious Divides and the Religious Settlement 22
3 England's Relations with Others in the First Part of the Reign 38
4 England's Relations with Others in the Last Part of the Reign 57
5 Plots, Conspiracies, and the Succession 80
6 Culture and Difference at the End of the Reign 104
Notes 123
Bibliographical Essay 138
Index 139
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