I, Elizabeth - Reader's Guide       <<back

I, Elizabeth

The life of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, has captured imaginations around the globe from the time of her death in 1603 to the present day.

As Princess Elizabeth leaves behind the safety of her country home and enters the king's court - a world where rubies are the size of hen's eggs, where every shadowy corner contains a spy, and where a slip of the tongue may be construed as treason and is punishable by beheading - she knows her young life will never be the same.

Quickly plunged into the terrifying, exalted world of sovereign power, rife with political intrigue and deadly plots, Elizabeth must turn against her own siblings in the quest to establish a just monarch on England's throne. Once ensconced as queen, however, she finds the jeopardies double. Spain lurks, sniffing for war; Mary, Queen of Scots challenges Elizabeth's claim to the throne; and Rome considers Elizabeth little more than the bastard daughter of a corrupt king and his whore.

Turning to her council for guidance, she finds nothing but pressure to marry and produce an heir as quickly as possible, and grumblings around her court when she resists doing so. And as the Virgin Queen explores love at her own pace, hidden from the all-probing public eye, she discovers that even the truest bonds of devotion can harbour betrayal and disaster.

Only one man, Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth's Secretary of State and Lord Treasurer, provides her with undying loyalty. And in the end, Elizabeth betroths herself to England alone, dedicating every drop of her blood and every ounce of her strength to the nation she loves. In a sweeping, utterly
fascinating journey through Elizabeth's six decades in the spotlight of history, Miles presents the dazzling Virgin Queen as she's never been seen before.


A glittering figurehead, a passionate mistress, and a charismatic politician, the powerful and opinionated Elizabeth has been immortalized in hundreds of books, paintings, stage productions and films, including the highly acclaimed Elizabeth, featuring Cate Blanchett in an Oscar-nominated performance.

Yet never has any novel matched the scope and mesmerizing detail of Rosalind Miles' breathtaking I Elizabeth. From her rise to power amidst the religious upheaval and political scandal left in the wake of Henry VIII, to her glorious final days as the unassailable Virgin Queen, I Elizabeth recreates Elizabeth's own voice and razor-sharp wit, and re-imagines her reign in brilliant color and nuance.

Miles effortlessly weaves years of research into heartstopping storytelling and arrives at an unforgettable portrait of one of history's greatest heroines. This guide is designed to help direct your reading group's discussion of I Elizabeth.


It is the year 1546 and King Henry VIII is not long for this world. He leaves behind three young heirs, from three dead wives, and decisions must be made that will ensure a smooth succession. 




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