Read Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton Online


An historian offers a new portrait of an subject of perennial fascination, Elizabeth I, casting the queen as she saw herself: not as an exceptional woman, but as an exceptional ruler....

Title : Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780297865223
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 370 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince Reviews

  • Jaylia3
    2018-11-29 20:43

    If you wanted to create a character for your novel or play, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with someone as interesting and story-worthy as England’s Elizabeth I. After her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded Elizabeth was declared a bastard, but she continued with her rigorous education and the hardships she experienced as a result of her demotion helped make her politically savvy, a trait that saved her neck more than once and ultimately put her on the throne. I’ve enjoyed several biographies about Elizabeth I, but this one has extras that make it stand out. Lisa Hilton’s premise is that Elizabeth saw herself as a Renaissance prince, and while Elizabeth was happy to invoke the conventions of courtly females when it suited her, she lived in an age when royal gender was more fluid than we might think now. Hilton spends some time describing the Renaissance era and what being a Renaissance prince would mean, which leads her to a discussion of contemporary literature, period attitudes, and Machiavelli. Elizabeth’s relatively long life is covered thoroughly, but more space is given to art analysis, cultural philosophies, and intellectual history than I’ve read elsewhere, which I found fascinating. I’ve read other books by Hilton, my favorite being Horror of Love about Nancy Mitford, and I appreciate the broad scope and thoughtful scrutiny she brings to her subjects, this book about Elizabeth being no exception. I read an ebook review copy of this book supplied by the publisher through Edelweiss. Review opinions are mine.

  • Elsbeth
    2018-12-13 22:42

    Elizabeth I was a BOSS BITCH. I mean boss prince. Duh.

  • Leslie Goddard
    2018-12-05 23:44

    I really enjoyed this biography of Queen Elizabeth I, though I'm not surprised it has gotten some 1- and 2-star reviews. This is probably not the best first biography of Elizabeth (others are shorter and more lively in style). Nor does it break new ground in terms of facts about her life (are there really many more "facts" to be uncovered?)But where Hilton really excels is in her insightful analysis and her use of broad context. I like her initial thesis that Elizabeth presents a powerful model of a "Renaissance Prince" and found her argument on this pretty compelling. But even more than that, I like how she constantly explores the broader context. Looking at Elizabeth's portraits in the context of the larger setting of painting in this era is illuminating, as is the broader context of where England fit in terms of art of this era. In my experience, few biographers draw from the broader context in making their arguments.This felt like a scholarly biography, written as much for academics and advanced students as for the general public. But for me, that's what made it rewarding. I enjoy reading biographies written by smart people who have done extensive research and encourage to think in new ways about a person. Hilton brilliantly succeeded at this.

  • Ted Lehmann
    2018-11-16 23:39

    Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 400 pages, $27.00/12.99) is a dense and rewarding exploration of this remarkable English ruler who happened to be a woman. Elizabeth (1533-1603), Henry VIII's daughter by Anne Boleyn spent much of her life battling to establish and maintain herself as the ruler of a country divided by major issues of succession, religious conflict, and political threat from larger, richer countries Spain and France. Machiavelli's seminal work The Prince had been published in Italy in 1513, influencing the emerging European Renaissance to reconsider the role of its leaders and the conflict between declining feudalism and emerging rulers who learned to understand the developing idea of the nation/stage largely under his influence. Hilton emphasizes the conflict between the chivalric courtly politics of the middle ages and the era of national statecraft that comes to flower during Elizabeth's long and glorious reign. During this period, feudalism begins giving way to nascent capitalism. The book explores elements of Elizabeth's development, education, and precariousness that make her accomplishments seem even greater for their lack of inevitability.While the world swirled around the religious and political ferment attendant to Henry VIII's sexual appetites combined with his desire to leave a male heir, Elizabeth spent her youth squirreled away, mostly out of the political whirlwind at Court, getting a first rate Renaissance education from a range of tutors, mostly associated with St. John's College – Cambridge. She spoke and read in French, Italian, Latin, and German while studying math, astronomy, natural science, music and geography. Her studies in rhetoric, grammar and logic helped polish her use of reason and argument. In other words, she was educated and smart, trained to become ruler of her nation in the increasingly likely absence of a male successor to the throne. Meanwhile, always in danger, she waited out the accession and quick passing of her sickly brother Edward as well as Mary, the Catholic daughter of Katherine of Aragon and Lady Jane Grey.Hilton spends significant time explaining Elizabeth in terms of the iconography (artistic symbolism) and conventions of courtly love during the period she was ruler of England. While the political winds were rapidly changing all across Europe, Elizabeth established herself as the symbolic as well as actual ruler of her country at least partly through the manipulation of the symbols legitimizing her divine right to govern. Hilton uses details in contemporary paintings and descriptions of elaborate tableaux and pageants as support. The references to then common allusions to Greek and Roman mythology support her contentions. The other major support for Hilton's portrait of Elizabeth lies in her description of the uses of the conventions of courtly love in Court relationships. This conventional behavior relied upon symbolic language and elaborate flirtation to develop and maintain relationships which actually had no recourse to ever being acted upon in private liaisons. While Hilton refuses to be categorical in this contention, she suggests that Elizabeth did, indeed, die a virgin queen. She successfully established herself as being beyond gender, except whe it suited her to appear weak and feminine. The courtiers engage in an almost tidal ebb and flow of influence and power within the Court of Elizabeth as advisers and sycophants vie for becoming favorites or fall from favor, placing their lives in jeopardy. There were so many individuals and powerful families from across Europe discussed in the text that I was forced into fairly frequent referal to Wikipedia to help me keep all the personae straight. This is probably more a testament to lapses in my own education than to Hilton's writing. Within this miasma of interlocking power and betrayal, the use of spies, torture, incarceration and execution leads to plenty of intrigue as well as much blood a gore. The struggle for power and favor within the Elizabethan court was not a game for the faint of heart! Lisa Hilton grew up in the north of England and read English at New College, Oxford, after which she studied History of Art in Florence and Paris. After eight years in New York, Paris and Milan she has recently returned to England and now lives in London with her daughter Ottavia. In addition to writing biography, she also works as a journalist, lecturer and broadcaster. She publishes widely in popular periodicals as well as in professional journals.Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 400 pages, $27.00/12.99) provides readers with a mature and nuanced view of Elizabeth I's life, with particular reference to her growing competence as a ruler and her often brutal responses to opposition or danger to her person or her country. Eventually, Elizabeth sacrifices any hope of personal joy or fulfillment for the sake of the realm and its continued development. The book is a solid piece of careful scholarship developing themes of Elizabeth's rule emphasizing her statesmanship and political savvy rather than her loves and adventures. It seems her major failure seems to have been an inability to achieve both continuity of succession and maintenance of her reign. I recommend this book to serious readers of history who are willing to work at their reading. I received the book as an e-galley supplied by the publisher through Edelweiss: Above the Tree Line. I read it on my Kindle App. If you consider purchasing this title, please use the Amazon portal on my blog at

  • Jesse Weinberger
    2018-11-29 00:48

    Phenomenally well written non-fiction study of Queen Elizabeth I. If you're a fan of Tudor history - you must add this to your TBR list. Hilton closely looks at Elizabeth's life from before her birth (via the battle between Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn) to her death and after.

  • Mary Louise
    2018-11-22 20:57

    This book could have used a better editor. So many errors some of which could have been easily corrected. Disappointed. I skimmed the last portion of the book.

  • Carolina Casas
    2018-11-19 21:44

    An objective, well written biography that explores the lesser known aspects of Elizabeth’s life, from her education, her relationship with her father, siblings and her eventual rivalry with Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots, to the last years of her reign, and people’s perception of her during and in the aftermath of her death.Elizabeth I is glorified in English history as the greatest monarch that ever lived. Not only that, but she has accolade of fans who -in their attempt to defend her- end up doing her the same disservice her rivals did back in the day. By putting her in a pedestal, she stops being a human being -an opportunistic, politically savvy, strong woman who was also a flawed individual, but didn’t let her demons get in the way of making her country great- and instead becomes a caricature.Lisa Hilton also dispels myths about her rivals and family members, primarily her mother (Anne Boleyn), her half-sister (Mary I), her rival (Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots), and lastly, her last stepmother, Kathryn Parr. What emerges is a woman who was deeply scarred by her experience but, as previously stated, learned from them, and used her femininity as her shield against her enemies before she became Queen. When she was Queen, she was stern while also cautious to a fault, affirming nothing and denying nothing. She played both sides and like most female rulers, she regarded herself as half-divine, her power justified by her intellectual and political prowess. But Lisa Hilton notes that the Virgin Queen would not have been as successful had it not been for her councilors. She often clashed with the more radical Protestant faction. They wanted a republic, one modeled after the classical Greek and Roman Republics, and were emboldened by the Netherlands and their Northern neighbors, the Scots. Of the latter, the Netherlands were more successful, and it was largely in part to Elizabeth. But as with many politicians today, supporting one’s cause, doesn’t mean you agree with them. As a pragmatist, Elizabeth was in need of allies and if the Catholic countries would continue to conspire against her, she would do the same and look elsewhere. The end result is a contradictory tale. Elizabeth applauded her father’s establishment and the supremacy of the Church of England because it placed the monarch above the law, on the other hand, she despised other Protestant doctrines that downplayed the monarch’s power and wished to return to the times of a classical republic. Elizabeth supported them because she needed them, but deep down she despised what they were doing and whenever some of her countrymen got similar ideas, she struck back.This is a biography that history buffs, especially those who are sick and tired of generalizations of their favorite Tudor monarchs, will appreciate. If you are new to the Tudor era, worry not, this book is easy to follow, highly descriptive and engaging from start to finish.

  • Tim Lake
    2018-11-29 18:59

    Thoroughly enjoyed it.If you like history of the monarchy, you will too.

  • Dan Hansen
    2018-12-05 18:01

    This book is better than the rating of three I have given it. It is well written, interesting, and comprehensive. The author supports her biography with direct references from original sources and does so gracefully; her use of her sources support and enhance the story of Elizabeth's life.She has a theme (Elizabeth as Machiavellian Prince). I am fine with this. It adds an interesting flavor and it gives you something to think on as the biography plays out as it must and did. I should add that I (as probably most of the people reading this book) have read multiple biographies of the various Tudors so I am receptive to an approach that challenges me to think of Elizabeth via a particular political lens.However, if I knew nothing of Elizabeth and were first being introduced to the complicated and fascinating life of this woman, I would prefer not to have the artificial structure of Machiavelli's Morality of Power acting as a straightjacket on Elizabeth. The girl and woman who wove through the dangerous maze that was life with her megalomaniacal father and her spiteful half-sister emerged at the age of twenty-six with an education that was unique to the her own life and experiences. It is clear that she often ruthlessly took into account political considerations but she also knew a personal, familial side to the equation. It may be your sister who would look for reasons to kill you. It was your father who might welcome you lovingly to his court or banish you as a bastard. Her politics was infused with the personal complexities of family and loves, whether it was the husband of her loving step-mother (Thomas Seymour) or the young boy-toy of her elderly days (Earl of Essex). As Elizabeth said in one passage, "Affection is false". It's complicated.I protest too much though. I *have* read other biographies so I am more than happy to consider the theme - it adds spice to the coffee table discussion.So why the three rating? I am embarrassed to to say but I will anyway. At one point the author cites the theories of art of Aristotle and Plato. She flips them, asserting Plato's theory to Aristotle and Aristotle to Plato. Plato for example asserted that art is mimetic; a mere imitation of reality which in turn is a mere imitation of the forms. Thrice removed from the Truth. I don't happen to agree with Plato, but that's beside the point. The book simply had it wrong.This is a pedantic point. I'm sure it was just an isolated mistake, but it introduced doubt and I found the doubt was distracting. Was it just a printing mistake or did she not know Plato's theory of art (yet was referencing it)? The book has an authoritative, assertive voice - and now I had a little voice of doubt on its right to be authoritative. I stilled enjoyed the book and would recommend it, but as a book for people who have already read biographies of Elizabeth.

  • Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
    2018-12-07 21:35

    "What? The Queen is a Woman?" An old woman, watching Elizabeth pass by on progress, expressed astonishment that the queen was, in fact, a woman. Well, that's the story anyway. It illustrates the differences in attitude of the time and perhaps even the idea that the monarch was removed from even being a man pr a woman at all.I'm a fan of Elizabeth I biographies. It's a familiar story that's fun to revisit and usually any new biography will have a few new facts to reveal or a slightly different way of interpreting them. Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince is rather less familiar and more challenging than most, but ultimately worth the effort.The one big point that Lisa Hilton wants to make is that Elizabeth was not a "woman ruler", she was a ruler every bit as much as Henry VIII had been or her foreign counterparts were. In fact, Hilton notes, "Arguably, contemporary conceptions of sexual difference were considerably more supple and sophisticated, and far less constricting, than those of the twenty-first century." And of course we only have to reflect that Elizabeth was preceded by a regnant queen and that although there was some question as to who would succeed Mary (Elizabeth's half sister), the only candidates who were seriously considered were all women -- Jane Grey, Mary Queen of Scots, and a handful of others. It was a given that a woman would be queen, and there doesn't seem to have been a lot of hand-wringing about that aspect of it.In addition to the analysis of the social positions of women in Tudor times, Hilton also concentrates more on international relations than in many studies of Elizabeth, which is quite interesting. The court in France was up to a lot in those days, as were the Dutch and Spanish governments, all of which required all kinds of Elizabethan diplomacy, both overt and covert. Then there was Russia. Odd to remember that Ivan IV (The Terrible) was keeping tabs on England (and even considered Elizabeth a possible candidate for his wife at one time), and that the English were trading in Russia. Lots to chew on in this book, and not just another rehash of the familiar story.

  • Sandra Guerfi
    2018-11-28 18:01

    Elizabeth I was Queen of England for 44 years and has been labelled everything from a weak woman led by her council to a bitter, jealous heretic and tyrant whose vanity led her to demand constant attention from her courtiers despite refusing suitor after suitor for her hand. She could be paranoid and often seemed incapable of reaching decisions in a timely manner or at times even reversing them all together. What Lisa Hilton's book shows us though is that not all was as it seemed. Indeed though Elizabeth was prone to faults that often times skewed her reactions, her decisions were not only those of a monarch struggling to make a tiny kingdom one of the world powers but of a Renaissance Prince who was more than capable of the Machiavellian machinations that were needed for her country to flourish and survive in that world. With new research out of France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, Hilton has created a biography that transcends Elizabeth as a Queen and reveals her thoughts about the body politic of a Prince. Although she was not afraid to use being a woman to her advantage, Elizabeth was also aware of the necessary sacrifices a Prince must make in order to effectively govern. Combined with the lessons she learned from an early age regarding the precariousness of being on the front lines of a ruling family helped to create a monarch who was able to craft, along with her network of spies, allies and council, a court that has been grossly underestimated by historians.England under Elizabeth forged new paths in religion, trade, and world politics and watched as new empires rose and old ones fell. This book is a worthy mirror to hold up to some of the most important years of the Renaissance. And to one of the most looked at but underestimated leaders of the time. A definite recommendation to anyone who is interested in the historical maelstrom of the Elizabethan court and it's amazingly sophisticated tapestry of intrigue.

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2018-11-28 19:34

    "Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince" is a new biography about Queen Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch. Elizabeth I is remembered throughout history as a very powerful ruler and she's also known for potentially having been a virgin queen. The details of her virginity are debated amongst historians. She never married. This author doesn't do well on that instead she shows how Elizabeth was able to almost bend her gender in order to rule her country. Elizabeth I was focused on the way that she was seen by her subjects and those that surrounded her.For her time, the fact that she was even able to rule her country was quite different. Ruling was typically left to the men, especially in European countries. The queens were the consorts and were supposed to focus on having the all important male heir. Elizabeth was not bound by those duties and instead was consumed with ensuring that all around her understood her power. I've always been fascinated by Elizabeth because she seems to stand out so much for her time. She was truly a force to be reckoned with.The use of gender is so interesting and I really liked how the author was able to point out how Elizabeth was able to use this as a tool. The writing of the book is very entertaining and the author weaves in a lot of historical facts that I was not aware of. I definitely learned something new from this book, which is always a good thing in my opinion. Overall, this would be a great book for those looking at for a little bit of a different perspective on Elizabeth I.

  • Patty
    2018-12-09 19:42

    Elizabeth I was a fascinating woman and her life and reign have provided the fodder for many a novel, movie and tome almost since she died it seems – well not the movies. They are more recent. I have done a fair amount of reading with Elizabeth at the center, both fiction and non fiction so when presented with the opportunity to read a new book chronicling her life I was very excited.This new book by Ms. Hilton presents Elizabeth not as a princess but rather as a prince positing that her upbringing was more that of a princes and referring back to The Prince by Machiavelli. A book that Elizabeth was purported to have read at a young age. It is noted that by remaining unmarried she also could maintain a certain mystique that helped her.The book is very well researched. And that perhaps is its downfall. Every little bit of information seems to be included and at times the book hops from place to place and time to time leading to a bit of reader confusion. I think it helps to have a bit of knowledge of the period and of Elizabeth under your belt before you decide to read this book. It’s not the type of book you pick up for a casual weekend read or to only read with half an eye. That being written it is a fascinating and quite detailed look at one of the amazing women in history.3.5

  • Victoria Johnston
    2018-12-08 18:37

    A well written account of the life of Elizabeth I, the only issue with this book is that it doesn't really tell us anything we don't already know. This is not a book which really breaks any new ground on her life but rather analyses the extent to which she ruled as a Renaissance Prince rather than a female. In that respect the book is successful, we get a sense of the importance of portraying Elizabeth as a ruler even more effective than her father, nit hindered by the limits of her sex. But we also see the importance of the Virgin Queen cult, the ruler who was married to her people, who sacrificed all for them. But as the monarch aged so her cult began to fail, her carefully presented veneer began to crack and even ruling as a Prince and not a woman could not save her in the end. In the words of Elizabeth herself one will always worship the rising sun rather than the setting sun. But even though her sun eventually set its light still burns eternal - her true legacy to be immortal. The epitome of the English ruler, forever remembered as the best of her kind. Surely she set the standard for all who followed her? Henry VIII obtained his longed for son after all albeit in a female shell.

  • Christian
    2018-11-24 17:43

    Given the staggering number of biographies of Elizabeth I and histories of the Tudor period more generally, one would have thought there was nothing particularly new or interesting to say on this subject. Quite the contrary. Lisa Hilton, instead of the usual cradle to grave chronology of her subject, examines various aspects of her life and the various influences upon it through the lens of the lessons of Machiavelli's The Prince. While she may not have read the book, the author contends that she applied those principles of realpolitik to the challenges she had to face in Renaissance and Reformation Europe. The author presents some fascinating revisionist arguments and historical precedents about the role of women in court life, how women could wield power and royal authority on equal terms with men and how the role of sovereign could transcend normal gender categories (thus the description of Elizabeth as a prince, not a princess). This was a fascinating and enjoyable book. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys historical biographies in general or the Tudor dynasty in particular.

  • V.E. Lynne
    2018-12-04 17:43

    Out of all the books I have read on Elizabeth I this one would have to be the most unusual, and the most challenging, that I've ever picked up. 'Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince' approaches the Tudor queen's reign from the perspective of the works of Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli (among others) and it is their theories, and beliefs, that form the prism through which we see Elizabeth. Hilton also puts great emphasis upon, and discusses at length, the difference between the 'body politic' and the 'body natural' and the huge role that gender (or perhaps the lack of?) played in Elizabeth's reign. This book is comprehensive, scholarly, and at times a little confusing for those of us who haven't had a classical education ( I plead guilty) but nonetheless it is a fascinating read. On the downside, not too much of Elizabeth's personality comes through nor very much of the colour, and vicious in fighting, of her court. Not a book I would recommend to anyone who hadn't read Tudor history before but for everyone else it is a must to place on their bookshelf.

  • Judith_Rex
    2018-12-03 18:39

    This is the second book I have read recently that dares to question the bigoted history that has been served up as truth for several hundred years by those who wish to keep the status quo in tight control. I really admire Elizabeth I for holding on to her throne with such sheer ruthlessness, but really hate that so much of it came at the expense of other women and other religions..including her sister's, whom she copied and no doubt plotted against (says this refreshing book). This is a history book for people who want to get past the marketing spiel and phony image making, to the real operator behind "Gloriana", a woman who is so much more interesting than the picture book version, at a time that is so much richer in layers for women than we have been led to believe.The best thing about Elizabeth is that she was an avid student of her family history, including her mother's, and did not make any of their mistakes...other than living too long and boring her audience.Patriarchies don't like old women no matter how brilliant.

  • Clarissa
    2018-12-12 00:47

    I seldom read biographies anymore. Not because they don't interest me but because they read like a long, overdone thesis. However, I was very pleased with this one because Elizabeth I is one of my favorite women in history. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant but I am glad that I took the leap. This is a biography that reads almost like a novel. it doesn't feel like a history major is barking out facts and demanding that you accept them because they say so. No, this gave us a look at Her Majesty in the way she saw herself. It's easy for us to look back at Queen Elizabeth and think that she was a Queen, she must have had it easy. It was a very different world then and she had to establish herself in it. The creation of herself as a Renaissance Prince was a brilliant move on her part. The author is well-written and the story flows easily. You're easily drawn in and introduced to Elizabeth in an entirely new light.I will likely read this again!

  • Troy Taylor
    2018-11-12 17:39

    The author stated that she was examining Elizabeth against the standards of a Renaissance prince. In the main, she accomplished that, providing a portrait that was neither flattering nor hyper-critical. Interestingly, Phillip of Spain, usually portrayed as the villain of Elizabeth's tale, comes across fairly sympathetic. Elizabeth's own tyrannical leanings, especially her administration's persecution of Catholics, are not condemned, merely stated as fact. What the author found difficult in squaring with her hypothesis was the simple fact that Elizabeth -- as a seasoned political figure -- used her gender to her advantage just as it was used against her. In this, she was more than the Renaissance prince. Comparing her exploits to those of the other leading female figures of the time -- and by the end of the 16th century, there were several in authority -- paints her favorably, but not exclusively so. This was a worthwhile to see the premise explored as thoroughly as it was.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2018-12-05 16:56

    Biography of Elizabeth I which concentrates on the way in which the famous English queen presented herself as a ruler, with special reference to contemporary ideas of how princes should act (drawn particularly from Machiavelli and Castiglione). Generally an entertaining read, and with some interesting insights (for example, an explanation of why she hesitated so long before signing the execution warrant for Mary Queen of Scots). However, I found there to be a lot of irritating small issues, which basically lost a star's worth of rating. These included some which could be typos - 1485 as a year when in context 1385 is clearly meant, for instance, but others are just sloppy. There are people mentioned whose names change from sentence to sentence, or who are confused with others; there is a note on spelling in the afterword which obviously includes an editorial note to move it elsewhere (to "the beginning"). And so on. A pity, because otherwise this is an excellent piece of history.

  • Daniel Kukwa
    2018-11-18 18:02

    It's an engrossing & easy-to-read biography, but I still find it frustrating. The thesis that Elizabeth was an embodiment of the Renaissance Prince, and promulgated by Machiavelli, makes for fascinating speculation. But I find that this biography too often goes for implicit rather than explicit analysis, which results in rambling passages that could be more concise and straightforward. It also ends rather poetically and enigmatically...when I would have preferred a final overview and judgement on 300+ pages of effort. A great deal of worthiness, but it could have been a bit more razor sharp in its focus.

  • Jarrett
    2018-12-10 17:42

    Hilton shows the woman behind the legendary monarch, and uses impressive deduction and close reading of primary sources to come to startlingly new conclusions about Elizabeth's motivations, education, fears, self-image, relationships, and priorities during her reign. From her mystical power rooted in appropriating Richard II's "virgin" iconography, through her careful balancing of her "body politic" against her "body natural", to Elizabeth's careful cultivation of her "Gloriana" image, this is how historical biography should be written. If you like British history, and richly detailed historical reconstruction that takes you back to the emotions, smells, clothing, and lived experience of historical events, this book is for you. A sumptuous treat!

  • Elizabeth Judd Taylor
    2018-11-25 00:35

    Probably more of a 4.5 rating (please let us give half ratings!)...Anyway...a very good study of how gender, at least in the case of rulers, was not an idea set in stone in the way we think of it today, this is a study of Elizabeth as ruler and prince. The author makes a convincing case for the idea that it is more modern historians who like to think of Elizabeth's gender as a problem or a hindrance, whereas in her day and age her royal lineage meant she could rule as a prince and not a "mere female." A good read and a welcome addition to the study of how gender was not always treated or viewed in the same way throughout the ages.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-13 19:42

    I wanted to like this book; it's about Elizabeth, after all. I found this book virtually unreadable. The author went on tangents that had minimal connection to the topic introduced in the beginning of the chapter. The tangents jumped through time and geographical location, making some of the points very difficult to follow. The author also did not consistently use the same names for the figures in the book (i.e. Cecil/Burghley); making me have to go back and re-read to make sure I didn't miss something.There is very little that is new in this latest book about Elizabeth.

  • Helene Harrison
    2018-11-12 21:34

    Review - This is an excellent biography of Elizabeth and her reign. It goes into great detail on the events that shaped the Elizabethan age, like the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the rebellion of the Earl of Essex in 1601, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587 and the death of Amy Robsart in 1560. It is very comprehensive, if a little dry in places. It has obviously been thoroughly researched, and the cover image grabbed me because it's not one of the usual images seen of Elizabeth.General Subject/s? - History / Biography / TudorsRecommend? - YesRating - 18

  • Jennifer Kurowski
    2018-11-26 18:59

    Worth reading but not astounding. I've read quite a few books on Elizabeth I and found very little that was "new" in this one. I know it's touted as being somehow very different from the others...but it didn't seem surprising to me to consider that Elizabeth saw herself as a Prince, or as a proponent of Machiavellian statecraft. Perhaps no other author has spent an entire book putting those thoughts forward, but surely they've been covered. The author's style is less engaging than, say, Allison Weir. Again, wprth reading but didn't live up to the hype.

  • Lezley
    2018-11-19 18:53

    An interesting book and well worth reading even after reading several biographies about Elizabeth I. Hilton portrays Elizabeth I as a ruling Prince and examines her diplomatic foreign relations, her paramours and the never-ending conspiracies against the Crown that were bubbling to the surface throughout her reign. Mary, Queen of Scots was a thorn in her side that never let up. Elizabeth was the ultimate diplomat inspired by a love for her people.

  • Beth
    2018-11-15 18:38

    This book looks at Elizabeth in the light of being a Renaissance "Prince", a consummate politician who played to her audience and who put her femininity to good use, as needed, to achieve the ends she required. She created herself for her audience.Elizabeth has long been one of my favourite historical characters and it's always interesting seeing her through a different lens. It took me awhile to get through, but I may not have been in the mood for it at the start.

  • Jim Dewar
    2018-11-22 21:33

    Would have been a much better book had not the author, Ms. Lisa Hilton, decided to preach her liberal gospel snuggly wrapped within the context of her historical surmises. For those of you who relish your left political leanings, you will probably enjoy this.For one example, read the reference to FOX News on page 116 (hardback) in chapter 4.Queen Elizabeth I deserves much better.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-30 21:57

    A solid new entry in the study of Elizabeth I. With an emphasis on Elizabeth as ruler and how she fit in with the other monarchs of the time, Hilton puts new emphasis on certain actions and decisions and provides a different perspective than many of the past entries in this field.