An abused child, yet confident of her destiny to reign, a woman in a man's world, passionately sexual yet, she said, a virgin, famed as England's most successful ruler yet actually doing very little, Elizabeth I is a bundle of contradictions. In this new, lavishly illustrated biography, published to accompany a Channel 4 series presented by the author, David Starkey turns the paradox into a person. Starting with Elizabeth's own speeches and writings, Starkey lays novel emphasis on two things: her faith made her see religion as a purely personal relationship between the individual conscience and God, yet her sophisticated education led her to a smoke-and-mirrors view of politics, in which clever image-making and speech-writing could solve or postpone real problems. The result was a surprisingly contemporary approach to some very modern questions, like civil strife in Scotland and Ireland and the risk of England's absorption into a European super-state. This new approach to the enigma of the Queen's character is presented within a lively and readable retelling of her reign; her love for Robert Dudley, the tragi-comedy of her favourites and suitors, and her epic struggles with Mary queen of Scots and Philip II of Spain.
Book in very good condition with clean pages throughout and securely bound.First edition hardback and signed by the author to the title page. Printed in 2000.