The Virgin Queen: Personal History of Elizabeth I Christopher Hibbert
In her lifetime the cult of Queen Elizabeth, the virginal genius of a golden age, the beauteous Queen of second Troy, rivalled that of the Virgin Mary herself. Praised for her wit and high intelligence, her consumate statecraft, her bravery and learning, and for a beauty as radiant as the sun, she was considered so desirable a bride that even the Pope felt constrained to propose that she would make him a marvellous wife. This book presents a revealing portrait of an extraordinary woman by turns courageous and timid, gracious and violently cantankerous, kind and spiteful, sensitive and coarse, realistic yet grotesquely vain, at once so forceful and so vacillating and unpredictable that one of her principal minister complained in exasperation that she drove him up the wall. Based on a wide range of contemporary documents and recent scholarship, Christopher Hibbert has drawn a picture of this fascinating and difficult woman, set firmly against the background her tumultuous times.