Elizabeth: The Later Years

Elizabeth: The Later Years

by John Guy


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Elizabeth: The Later Years by John Guy


Film rights acquired by Gold Circle Films, the team behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Working Title is in production with a film on the rivalry between Elizabeth and Mary staring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie based on John Guy's portraits of the warring queens.

“A fresh, thrilling portrait… Guy’s Elizabeth is deliciously human.”
–Stacy Schiff, The New York Times Book Review

Elizabeth was crowned queen at twenty-five, but it was only when she reached fifty and all hopes of a royal marriage were behind her that she began to wield power in her own right. For twenty-five years she had struggled to assert her authority over advisers, who pressed her to marry and settle the succession; now, she was determined not only to reign but to rule. In this magisterial biography, John Guy introduces us to a woman who is refreshingly unfamiliar: at once powerful and vulnerable, willful and afraid. We see her confronting challenges at home and abroad: war against France and Spain, revolt in Ireland, an economic crisis that triggers riots in the streets of London, and a conspiracy to place her cousin Mary Queen of Scots on her throne. For a while she is smitten by a much younger man, but can she allow herself to act on that passion and still keep her throne?
For the better part of a decade John Guy mined long-overlooked archives, scouring handwritten letters and court documents to sweep away myths and rumors. This prodigious historical detective work has enabled him to reveal, for the first time, the woman behind the polished veneer: determined, prone to fits of jealous rage, wracked by insecurity, often too anxious to sleep alone. At last we hear her in her own voice expressing her own distinctive and surprisingly resonant concerns. Guy writes like a dream, and this combination of groundbreaking research and propulsive narrative puts him in a class of his own.

"Significant, forensic and myth-busting, John Guy inspires total confidence in a narrative which is at once pacey and rich in detail." 
Anna Whitelock, TLS

“Most historians focus on the early decades, with Elizabeth’s last years acting as a postscript to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Guy argues that this period is crucial to understanding a more human side of the smart redhead.” – The Economist, Book of the Year

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143110095
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 794,396
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

 John Guy is an award-winning historian of Tudor England. A Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, he is the author of Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart, a major international bestseller that won  the Whitbread Award and the Marsh Biography Award and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. His other books include A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg; Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel; the biography of Henry VIII for the Penguin Monarchs series and a landmark, bestselling history of Tudor England.

Table of Contents

Genealogical Tables vii

Descendants of Edward III: Yorkist Line

Descendants of Edward III: Lancastrian and Tudor Lines

Map xi

England, Scotland, and Wales

Northern France and the Netherlands


Author's Note xvii

Preface 1

Introduction: A Virgin Queen 8

1 A City in Fear 25

2 Crisis and Betrayal 41

3 Brave New World 60

4 Armada of the Soul 70

5 No Warrior Queen 93

6 A Funeral and a Wedding 111

7 On the Attack 127

8 The Visible Queen 145

9 The Enemy Within 161

10 Catastrophe in France 177

11 'Good Queen Bess' 192

12 The Quest for Gold 207

13 Conspiring against the Queen 222

14 Games of Thrones 237

15 A Counter-Armada 254

16 One Last Chance 269

17 Seeking Détente 286

18 Opening New Fronts 304

19 Defying the Queen 319

20 'I am Richard II' 333

21 The Queen's Speech 347

22 On a Knife's Edge 362

23 The Final Vigil 376

Epilogue 392

Abbreviations 404

Notes and References 409

Illustration Credits 466

Index 470

Acknowledgements 491

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