Tag Archives: Queen Elizabeth

Young Elizabeth Book Review

For those of us under a certain age, Queen Elizabeth II of England is simply the Queen Of England. She has ruled England since 1952. We don’t know her as anything else or anyone else.

Kate William’s new book, Young Elizabeth, The Making Of A Queen,  takes the reader back to Elizabeth’s childhood and tells the story of how she became Queen.

Born in 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen. Her father (who would only ascend to the throne after his elder brother abdicated to marry his American mistress) would later become King George VI, was the second son. Having no brothers or close male relations who could step in front of her, Elizabeth, the first-born of two daughters, became heir to the throne when her father became King.  The book starts with an overview of Elizabeth’s family tree and includes her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.  It then takes the reader through Elizabeth’s life up to her 25th year, when she ascended to the throne.

As an Anglophile, a history nerd and a feminist, I found this book to be very interesting. History is full of Kings, but Queens, especially ones that have ruled for as long as Elizabeth has are far and few between. However, the writing tends to be dry in some areas. I get that this is a memoir and not a novel. However, that does not mean that the writing cannot have a life and a bounce to it. I enjoyed it, but someone who does not have the interests I have may not.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.


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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History, Life

Dark Aemilia Book Review

For every fact that we know about William Shakespeare, there is a myth, an unconfirmed rumor that we may never know the truth about.

Sally O’ Reilly’s new novel, Dark Aemilia: A Novel Of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady introduces the reader to a woman forgotten by the modern world. Aemilia Lanyer (nee Bassano) is the daughter of a Venetian musician. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth, she is mistress to the much older Lord Hunsdon. Meeting William Shakespeare, they have an ill fated affair resulting in her pregnancy.

Ten years later, the Plague has come to London. Aemilia is now married to her cousin, Alfonso. When the Plague enters her home and strikes her son, Aemilia will do anything protect her son, even if means going back to ex lover or making deals with dark forces.

I liked this book.  This is not the first, nor will this be the last foray into Elizabethan England and the unconfirmed myths of that era’s most famous playwright. This book is rich in historical detail, but not bogged down by the facts. It’s a fun read, taking the reader on a journey and introducing us to a woman we should be celebrating as much as we do the Bard.

I recommend this book.


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Filed under Book Review, Books, William Shakespeare