Queen of This Realm: The Tudor Queens (Queens of England, #2)

ISBN: 0609810200
ISBN 13: 9780609810200
By: Jean Plaidy

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Genres

England Fiction Historical Historical Fiction History Jean Plaidy Series To Read Tudor Tudors

About this book

In this "memoir" by Elizabeth I, legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy reveals the Virgin Queen as she truly was: the bewildered, motherless child of an all-powerful father; a captive in the Tower of London; a shrewd politician; a lover of the arts; and eventually, an icon of an era. It is the story of her improbable rise to power and the great triumphs of her reign -- the end of religious bloodshed, the settling of the New World, the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Brilliantly clever, a scholar with a ready wit, she was also vain, bold, and unpredictable, a queen who commanded -- and won -- absolute loyalty from those around her.But in these pages, in her own voice, Elizabeth also recounts the emotional turmoil of her life: the loneliness of power; the heartbreak of her lifelong love affair with Robert Dudley, whom she could never marry; and the terrible guilt of ordering the execution of her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. In this unforgettable novel, Elizabeth emerges as one of the most fascinating and controversial women in history, and as England's greatest monarch.

Reader's Thoughts

Natalie

I would have liked to have learned more about her political strategy and how she saved England from financial upheaval. This book was very focused on her personal relationships, which were interesting, but there was so much more to this woman!

Daylin

It was a good book just it was very very long. Also I didn't like how she kept addressing the same people by different names, yes I understand they were given new titles and everything but it just made everything much more confusing if she is talking to Deverouex one minute and then Essex the next when it was the same person.

Oriana

When I was invited to write a review about a book by Jane Plaidy, I readily accepted. I had heard so much about the author but never really had the chance to read any of her works. Queen of this Realm seemed like a good choice for this first experience, since the charismatic Elizabeth I, queen of England is one of my favorite historic figures.The book opens with Elizabeth’s troubled childhood. Daughter of the all powerful Henri VIII and the attractive Anne Boleyn, who was executed when Elizabeth was only 3 years old, we sense how this child grew insecure of her place into her father affections and how deeply she was scarred by her mother’s destiny and her illegitimacy. Raised by governesses, servants and stepmothers (like Katherine Parr), we follow her life through the years, watching her slowly becoming the woman who gave her name to her time – the Elizabethan era.The struggle between Protestants and Catholics create an unstable situation in England aggravated by Edward VI’s death and Mary’s ascension to the throne. These were hard times for the future queen who had to spend a year in prison after being accused several times of plotting against her sister’s life.After Mary’s early death, she finally accedes to the throne, to the joy of the English people who were much in love for their princess. As a young queen (25 years old), many were those who wanted to see her settle down and giving an heir to the country. Elizabeth decides to do exactly the opposite; she will be married to her people and will rule without a man by her side. Of course, this didn’t stop her to have several suitors over the years, mainly due to diplomatic reasons.The later years come in a rush with the victory over the Invincible Armada, the sudden death of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester or even the queen’s tempestuous relationship with the deeply annoying Robert Deveraux, the stepson of Dudley.I have to confess I was not expecting much from this book in terms of historical accuracy, since I heard the author is known to sometimes romanticize History. For what I previously read about Elizabeth I, these 400 pages are a fair account of her life, which is not an easy task to do in such a short length or even write as a memoir. Of course, several important moments are rushed in a few lines, it was almost expected. I’m nonetheless impressed that Plaidy still managed to pull it off so elegantly. Now I wish I had her entire backlist at home…I particularly enjoyed reading about the queen’s relationship with Robert Dudley, how they met as children in court, found themselves imprisoned at the same time at the Tower and later built a very complex relationship that resisted during 30 years to everything and everyone: treasons, cheating, disputes, banishments… I was never very fond of Robert, I can actually understand Elizabeth’s fascination for him, but he really never wins my affections.My favorite moments were mostly the portraits of some of Elizabeth’s pairs or close family, like Jane Grey, so insecure and innocent and clearly a puppet in the hands of the ambitious John Dudley, duke of Northumberland. The poor child looks just like a little lamb sent to the slaughter…The fatherly figure of Lord Cecil who always admired his young queen and wanted the best for her, even if she sometimes strongly disagreed with his opinions, is very touching. He is always there for her, no matter what. I confess the scene when he gets ill and is lying in his bed talking with Elizabeth brought some tears to my eyes.In the other hand, I missed to read more about Walsingham. He always fascinated me and I was quite disappointed to see that if he is mentioned here and there, we don’t know much about him or even quite see how crucial his role was during Elizabeth’s reign. We end up knowing more about his daughter and her hidden affair and consequent marriage to the spoiled Robert Deveraux.Mary, Queen of the Scots is described almost as I imagined her: pretty, attractive but probably not suited to rule and certainly not a match for her intelligent cousin, Elizabeth. After 18 years living as a captive in England, she was becoming a liability and a threat… After collecting enough evidence of Mary’s treason and plots against his queen, Walsingham, along with other advisors, convinced Elizabeth of the necessity to bring Mary to a trial and an execution. Elizabeth’s fears and hesitation clearly show she knew how delicate the situation was; any wrong decision could gain her the displeasure of her beloved people and overthrow her. She readily admitted ruling by popular consent and valued the advice of the parliament and her counselors.Something that deeply annoyed me was the frequent pinching and slapping given by Bess to her ladies in waiting and even her favorites. She is indeed known by her mercurial temper, especially in her older years but making her punish physically and constantly everyone around her gives her a childish behavior that seems far from her personality, even as a child.A subject much discussed about Elizabeth was her virginity. Plaidy preferred to follow the queen’s reputation and the iconic and virginal image she built to herself but other biographies do mention she had certainly some affairs. Some even suggest Thomas Seymour ravished her when she was an adolescent and living with her stepmother, Katherine Parr, leaving her somehow traumatized for her future amorous experiences.While rushing some important parts of Elizabeth I life, I do find this Queen of this Realm an excellent debut for anyone who would like to know this queen a little better. Jean Plaidy gives us an intelligent, empathic and very astute Elizabeth who learned since early age how to reach for her goals with patience and insight. She’s not a model of perfection or sainthood, she can be vain and egocentric but she was an inspiration to the men and women of her time and even today she continues to fascinate us. Elizabeth I was certainly a woman ahead of her time.As I mentioned before, this is my first Plaidy and certainly not the last! Thank you ladies of the Historical Tapestry for giving me this opportunity to discover another great author.Grade: 4.5/5(Posted at Historical Tapestry during the Jean Plaidy season)

Megan

I love!!! all of Jean Plaidy's books. She is very good with getting history right, I've never read anything that was't true I llok up there stories online after I read them and that she writes happened in history. She is great because she isn't smutty and she doesn't get off on the sex stories. I also love that mostof her books are about women in history we hear so little about them.

Pauline Lloyd

Surprisingly I really enjoyed this. Written as a diary in the first person.

Kendra

Quite honestly I didn't read the whole thing... I thought this was going to be more historical and it was written to be as historically correct as possible but the author focused on the love life of Queen Elizabeth. I didn't care to much about that I wanted to read more about the political, social things that happened during here reign. Oh well.

Katie

I do love Plaidy's historical fiction - she puts so much life into her stories. This is not to mention that her research is much more accurate than some popular authors I will not name.Queen of This Realm goes as far back as "Elizabeth" can remember in her life, the first memory being of her mother desperately trying to get the king to acknowledge her, just days before Anne's execution. As it follows along on the road of her life, you get a sense of the human behind the legendary title. She really was a fascinating person.

Andrea

Inhalt:Elisabeth I., geliebt, gehasst, verraten... Als 2 Tochter Heinrichs VIII. war sie nichts viel wert. Ein Sohn musste her, dafür heiratete Heinrich VIII. 6 Ehefrauen, und eine gebar ihm den gewünschten Sohn. Mit 3 Jahren als illegetim erklärt, mit 25 geliebte Königin Englands. 45 Jahre hat sie als Alleinregendin auf dem Thron Englands gesessen. Ihr leben Lang hat Elisabeth nur eine Liebe gehabt, Robert Dudley, den sie niemals heiraten darf. Elisabeth schafft es während ihrer Regendschaft, die schlimmen Erinnerungen an die Inquisition zu verbannen, aber sie konnte diese mildern. Ihr war es wichtig, Frieden im Lande zu haben, weshalb es ihr auch schwer fiel den Gerichtsbeschluss für die Hinrichtung Maria Stuard zu unterschreiben. Sie war sowieso sehr gefühlsbetont, besonders wenn es um Verwande ihrer Mutter, Anne Boylen, ging. Schönheit war ihr besonders wichtig, weshalb sie sich nur mit Frauen und Männern "geschmückt" hatte, die besonders hübsch waren. Doch ihr absoluter Liebling war ihre große Liebe, ihm verzieh sie alles. Elisabeth starb alleine in ihrem Schloß, denn all ihre Freunde und enge Vertraute starben vor ihr.Meinung:Jean Plaidy hat ein atemberaubendes Buch geschrieben. Auch wenn ich selten Zeit hatte mehr als 10 Seiten zu lesen (weil ich halb drüber eingeschlafen bin auf Grund der Uhrzeit), ich habe so gut mit Elizabeth mitfühlen können, wie sie sich gefühlt hatte unter ihrem Vater, dessen einziges Ziel es war einen männlichen Thronerben zu bekommen. Das Buch bekommt von mir 5/5 Bücher

Audra

This book is awesome. I love Elizabethan History..even though it is historical fiction I feel like I can carry on a conversation about this period in history. I love all of the Jean Plaidy books I have read so far, but I especially enjoyed this one..I highly recommend it.

Billye

I am reading this book for the 2nd time- about Queen Elizabeth I- wonderful as all Jean Plaidy's books are about the kings and Queens of England. I love to read and reread these historical fiction books. I have all the books she has written under the name of Jean Plaidy and I read them over and over. They are a wonderful way to study English history.

Laurie

So far, I am finding the book pretty readable...and it is not always easy for me to get through a book about Elizabeth. Phillipa Gregory is probably the only author who has written a book about her that I've been able to finish.While Plaidy is not as juicy a writer as Gregory, I find her books easy to read and educational (with a grain of historical fiction salt). From the recent publications of her Queens series, I've worked my way down from Eleanor of Acquitaine in chronological order. All of her heroines are given a distinct voice which sets their personalities apart.

Rae

Perhaps these Elizabethan/Victorian/period novels that follow the lives of royal and other figures are not my cup of tea, but I have to say this is the second time I've been left feeling a little less than impressed. This story is good, for what it is. I just wasn't thrilled with it. Jean Plaidy's writing is nice, and compared to Carolly Erickson's random jumps into kitschy Harlequin moments, she's a breath of fresh air. But my biggest qualm is with her portrayal of Elizabeth. The book is obviously all about Queen Elizabeth I and her reign in England. And while I would normally be fascinated by this kind of historical novel, I was just left wanting to strangle Elizabeth. Perhaps I don't have a great idea of what the woman was really like, but I can't see a woman who was as cautious in making decisions as she was as the kind of person to just run around slapping her women whenever she got angry. That was a little strange to me. Was Elizabeth as childish as that? At first glance, she appears to be very self-controlled, self-aware, and disciplined. As a woman who was constantly in the limelight, I assume she would know how to comport herself, and yes, she might get a little relaxed among her ladies of the court, but I find it hard to believe she regularly slapped them and insulted them when she was displeased. Another issue I have is how prideful she was. Elizabeth was a great queen, and I admire her for many things. But was she as prideful and vain as Plaidy portrays? I'm not sure. Her love of beauty and her pride in her own beauty is written of throughout the whole book and forms an integral part of her character, or rather, Plaidy's portrayal of her character. For a woman who never married, it seems a bit strange that she would be so obsessed with her looks and with being courted but never won. At the same time, Plaidy showed her strengths in great ways. I was pleased by the portrayal of Elizabeth's hesitation to sign off on the death of Mary, Queen of Scots. I loved the relationship between Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, and I was pleasantly surprised at the treatment of Elizabeth's surrogate Essex, who she tried to use to replace Robert Dudley after his death. Overall, I have to admit the book was pleasant enough. I just had issues with things like Elizabeth's character. But it's a decent read and one worth trying if you're interested in the Elizabethan age.

Korynn

I did not like the beginning of this fictional retelling of the life of Elizabeth I in her own voice. Mostly because of the realistic idiotic girl tone to it in which she primps and giggles with her servants when she's not slapping them for angering her. Luckily she grows out of it and really on the whole you'd be better off finding a good biography because that's basically how this mammoth undertaking reads, as a brief readthrough of events in the life of Queen Elizabeth I year by year. I applaud the authoress for the attempt but think trying to attack the entire reign too large a task to do justice to. So instead, no depth of character, just a recitation with a bit of exposition on crucial events like Robert Dudley marrying Lettice, Lady Suffolk. Very little insight really.

Edward Creter

"You can't control an independent heart."--Sting.In the case of Queen Elizabeth I, it's absolutely true.Queen Liz has beeen the subject of non-fiction books, fictional works, a mystery series and some very popular movies, two of which showcase the ravishing Cate Blanchett as her Majesty. But I think Queen of this Realm by Lady Jean Plaidy takes us more into her heart and shows us the woman behind the crown 'cos it tells the story from her perspective as if she's writing her own auto-bio. It's an amazing life she led! Queen Liz was put away in a tower by her sister, Queen Mary Stuart, who sees her as a threat to her throne of power. When Queen Mary dies, Liz takes over bigtime, ruling all of England by herself with the Grace and Dignity of her station. She's arrogant, manipulative and vaingloriou and often suffers delusions of her grandeur, yet she's also surprisingly human, as she loses trusted friends, often by her own hand, and pays a heavy price. Thru it all she remains a dominant force for her peopel and is true inspiration for men AND women of all ages to this day. It's time to give honor where it's long overdue. This Queen will rock you! Long live the Queen!

Marissa

This is my least favorite of Plaidy’s novels. It might just be due to the fact that I’ve read so many novels and histories about Elizabeth I that any others I read need to be truly magnificent so that they stand out from the crowd. This novel is par for the course for Plaidy- an extensive re-telling of the life of one of history’s most popular figures.It just didn’t do anything for me. I thought maybe I was getting sick of Plaidy because I’ve been reading so much of her lately, but the novel I’m reading now by Plaidy is much more to my liking. I recommend this novel to lovers of Plaidy’s novels but Elizabeth-lovers and Tudorphiles might be disappointed by it if they haven’t read it already. I’d recommend skipping it unless you’re in the mood for a light and fluffy read.

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