History has so many stories about struggles for power, betrayal, religion, love, lost love and none more so than in the story of Queen Elizabeth I. In Elizabeth Starkey looks at Elizabeth’s first twenty five years of her life starting before she was crowned. Following her from childhood, through her teen years and into early adulthood. Starkey describes himself almost falling in love with Elizabeth but being repelled by her at the same time. He makes clear in his introduction that he will follow up Elizabeth with another book continuing Elizabeth’s story as Queen of England.
Starkey stars off the book well, writing like he’s telling a story and this writing style captivated me. But later on in the book he gets far too academic, getting bogged down in the detail of events. Starkey even presents arguments for some conclusions he draws that are contrary to popular historians beliefs. Indeed Starkey even includes references, albeit subtly.
Now don’t get me wrong; I like to hear different opinions about historic events. A good debate even, but that’s not what I expected after reading the introductory chapter which describes historic events in terms of telling a story. I was looking forward to delving into Elizabeth’s story, but unfortunately the academia prevented this and was a great source of frustration.
Still I did learn more about events in her early years and how they effected her throughout adulthood; such as her relationship with her father and fathers whims when it came to his favour, the traumatic relationship between her & Thomas Seymour and the influence of Catherine Parr her step-mother.
If you are doing History as a subject at GCSE, A-Level or Degree and enjoy reading the academic style, you’ll like Elizabeth which is available to buy on Amazon.