Tag Archives: Books

Elizabeth’s Women Followup

I’ve finished “Elizabeth’s Women” by Tracy Borman. Very enjoyable. It’s not a substitute for a solid Elizabeth I biography but it could be considered required supplemental material for anyone wanting to know more about Elizabeth and her times. It delves into an area not often covered in traditional biographies or standard Elizabethan histories.

Just one note, and most Elizabeth books and movies, carry the same feminist whine that Elizabeth was pressured to marry because she was a woman. This is simply untrue. A king would have been under similar pressure to marry as quickly as possible to produce an heir. How many bachelor kings can you name?

The one main suggestion I’d make is to add a genealogical table. Much of the book covers Elizabeth’s prospective rivals or threats to her crown but without being able to track them back, it’s hard to remember (or understand) why the Grey sisters, the Seymours, Stuarts, et al, received so much attention.

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Tracy Borman’s “Elizabeth’s Women”

I’m currently reading Tracy Borman’s “Elizabeth’s Women,” chronicling Queen Elizabeth I and the women around her throughout her life. Great stuff. Yes, the endless references to poor, oppressed women not properly recognized for the abilities gets old but it’s a small price to pay.

I have an error correction – on page 139, she means Margaret of Anjou was Henry VI’s wife not Henry IV’s wife.

And I have a suggestion, note Kat Champernowne/Astley’s marriage earlier. The name Astley suddenly appears on page 92 while the noting of the marriage comes much later. It could be easily handled with a quick parenthetical without having to move the details from where they are now.