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'A masterful biography' Amanda Foreman
'A gripping story of Queen Elizabeth's last years, authoritatively researched and engagingly recounted by the leading Tudor historian of our age' James Shapiro, author of 1599 and 1606
An ageing queen, an heirless state, conspiracy all round: here is the court of Elizabeth I as never known before
History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not so simple.
In 1583 Elizabeth is fifty years old, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; relentless plotting among her courtiers. This gripping and vivid portrait of her life and times - often told in her own words ('You know I am no morning woman') - reveals a woman who is fallible, increasingly insecure, and struggling to lead Britain. This is the real Elizabeth, for the first time.
'One of the very best historians we have in the country . . . It is brilliant, vigorous history, and a triumph of storytelling and scholarship' Jessie Childs, Telegraph
'The best biography ever written of the Virgin Queen - a revisionist, sensitive, compelling, majestic masterwork that you can't put down' Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Evening Standard
'Guy's careful work with documents known and unknown allows him to paint a novel portrait of a complex - maybe even unknowable - queen' John Gallagher, Guardian