Elizabeth I and Her Circle



This Is The Inside Story Of Elizabeth I S Inner Circle And The Crucial Human Relationships Which Lay At The Heart Of Her Personal And Political Life Using A Wide Range Of Original Sources Including Private Letters, Portraits, Verse, Drama, And State Papers Susan Doran Provides A Vivid And Often Dramatic Account Of Political Life In Elizabethan England And The Queen At Its Centre, Offering A Deeper Insight Into Elizabeth S Emotional And Political Conduct And Challenging Many Of The Popular Myths That Have Grown Up Around Her It Is A Story Replete With Fascinating Questions What Was The True Nature Of Elizabeth S Relationship With Her Father, Henry VIII, Especially After His Execution Of Her Mother What Was The Influence Of Her Step Mothers On Elizabeth S Education And Religious Beliefs How Close Was She Really To Her Half Brother Edward VI And Were Relations With Her Half Sister Mary Really As Poisonous As Is Popularly Assumed And What Of Her Relationship With Her Stewart Cousins, Most Famously With Mary Queen Of Scots, Executed On Elizabeth S Orders In , But Also With Mary S Son James VI Of Scotland, Later To Succeed Elizabeth As Her Chosen Successor Elizabeth S Relations With Her Family Were Crucial, But Almost As Crucial Were Her Relations With Her Courtiers And Her Councillors Her Men Of Business Here Again, The Story Unravels A Host Of Fascinating Questions Was The Queen Really Sexually Jealous Of Her Maids Of Honour What Does Her Long And Intimate Relationship With The Earl Of Leicester Reveal About Her Character, Personality, And Attitude To Marriage What Can The Fall Of Essex Tell Us About Elizabeth S Political Management In The Final Years Of Her Reign And What Was The True Nature Of Her Personal And Political Relationship With Influential And Long Serving Councillors Such As The Cecils And Sir Francis WalsinghamElizabeth I and Her Circle

Dr Susan Doran is a British historian whose primary studies surround the reign of Elizabeth I, in particular the theme of marriage and succession She has published and edited sixteen books, most notably Elizabeth I and Religion, 1558 1603, Monarchy and Matrimony and Queen Elizabeth I, part of the British Library s Historic Lives series.She is currently a tutor and member of the history faculty at Christ Church, Oxford University where her specific area of interest is stated as being Early Modern British and European history Previously, Doran was a reader in history, Senior Lecturer in History and Teaching Studies and Director of the History Programme at St Mary s College, Strawberry Hill, part of the University of Surrey.She is also a Director of Studies for history at Regent s Park College and Senior Research Fellow for History at Jesus College

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  • Hardcover
  • 397 pages
  • Elizabeth I and Her Circle
  • Susan Doran
  • English
  • 05 May 2019
  • 0199574952

10 thoughts on “Elizabeth I and Her Circle

  1. says:

    Disclaimer ARC via Netgalley Dorman s book looks at Elizabeth though the great Queen s relationships with various people of her court and family Dorman s approach is to divide the book up into Family, Courtiers, Women servants and councilors The first and last sections of the book are the best The most disappointing section is the one about Elizabeth s women It is the shortest section, grouping all the women into one chapter as opposed to an individual chapter per important person as in t Disclaimer ARC via Netgalley Dorman s book looks at Elizabeth though the great Queen s relationships with various people of her court and family Dorman s approach is to divide the book up into Family, Courtiers, Women servants and councilors The first and last sections of the book are the best The most disappointing section is the one about Elizabeth s women It is the shortest section, grouping all the women into one chapter as opposed to an individual chapter per important person as in the other sections In part, this is could be due to a lack of first hand sources as well as the fact that the women weren t on the grand stage, yet it still feels disappointing It does, however, do an excellent job of illustrating that Elizabeth s concerns about her women s romantic activities was not due to jealously or a determination that everyone always be a virgin The first chapter stands out because of the detail Dorman gives in looking at Elizabeth s relationship or lack thereof with her father While the other chapters, centering on siblings and various cousins cover much detail that is well known to the Tudor student, the chapter on Henry VIII looks closely at the gifts that Elizabeth gave her father and comes to some thought provoking conclusions The courtier section simply retreads the stories that most people know so well and the chapters in the councilor section about the Cecils do the same The chapter about Walsingham is nicely done and goes a long way to adding toward the understanding of the Moor

  2. says:

    This non fiction book which focuses on Elizabeth I and the people that had close personal relationships with her is easy to follow and an interesting read Rather than offer a chronological history, Doran presents a thematic structure focusing each chapter on a key individual or group or individuals who were key to Elizabeth s life Below I discuss my favorite relationships.1 Chapter one focuses on Elizabeth s relationship with her parents, King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn also her rel This non fiction book which focuses on Elizabeth I and the people that had close personal relationships with her is easy to follow and an interesting read Rather than offer a chronological history, Doran presents a thematic structure focusing each chapter on a key individual or group or individuals who were key to Elizabeth s life Below I discuss my favorite relationships.1 Chapter one focuses on Elizabeth s relationship with her parents, King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn also her relationship between Elizabeth and her younger brother Edward and elder sister Mary.2 Chapters two and three History has shown us how uncomfortable a King or Queen on the throne is when there are rivals to their throne King Henry VIII s two sisters many descendants were potential claimants to the throne on Elizabeth s death The book describes Elizabeth s relationships with her cousins with one full chapter, chapter three, being devoted to her relationship with the famous Mary Queen of Scots.3 Chapter four focuses on Elizabeth s political actions after the birth of Queen Mary s son, James VI of Scotland and her relationship with him.4 Chapter five, finally , talked about Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester Doran wades through the rumors of possible romance and a sexual relationship between the two and she concludes what really was the motive behind the close relationship between the two.5 Doran also discusses Elizabeth s relationships with her ladies and her councillors.Because of the books thematic arrangement, I thought I might sacrifice an understanding of the order in which things occurred But I don t feel as though that is the case I feel that I better understand Elizabeth by looking at how she interacted with those that were most important to her Arranging the book this way was key to my enjoyment of the book It helped me to focus on a particular issue, and follow how that issue played out before chapter s end.Recommended for all interested in the Tudors or Elizabeth I.I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

  3. says:

    To a modern eye, early modern courts seem lousy with favorites, nepotism and cronies The actual workings of the system are farcomplicated than personal inclination at least if you wanted the government to work Doran meticulously reconstructs the ways in which Elizabeth I contrasted to Henry VIII and Mary I carefully and consistently manipulated her courtiers playing the chivalry card to allow men to serve a female ruler, allowing dangerous people she personally disliked into the inne To a modern eye, early modern courts seem lousy with favorites, nepotism and cronies The actual workings of the system are farcomplicated than personal inclination at least if you wanted the government to work Doran meticulously reconstructs the ways in which Elizabeth I contrasted to Henry VIII and Mary I carefully and consistently manipulated her courtiers playing the chivalry card to allow men to serve a female ruler, allowing dangerous people she personally disliked into the inner circle so that their ability to dispense patronage would keep them loyal, bestowing favors in ways that kept people with their own power bases both entangled and jealous of one another This is not big news to me, but for someone unfamiliar with the orchestration of patronage and personal rule, this is a good study of Elizabeth debunking the old school story of the queen and her emotionally driven favorites in favor of better documented reality

  4. says:

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.Behind every great queen The Tudor Monarchs are endlessly fascinating to many people There are countless books devoted to them and their lives are perfect for richly colourful yet often gruesome screen portrayals But do we get the full picture of their reigns by focusing merely on the head that wears the crown In Elizabeth I s case we certainly don t which is what makes this book so interesting and relevant Susan Doran uses her depth of knowledge I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.Behind every great queen The Tudor Monarchs are endlessly fascinating to many people There are countless books devoted to them and their lives are perfect for richly colourful yet often gruesome screen portrayals But do we get the full picture of their reigns by focusing merely on the head that wears the crown In Elizabeth I s case we certainly don t which is what makes this book so interesting and relevant Susan Doran uses her depth of knowledge and extensive research to explore the people who were most important to Elizabeth her friends, family, rivals, courtiers, councillors and confidantes By investigating them we learnabout her, but many of them are interesting in their own right Although the nature of this book means that there are necessarily lots of dates and complex genealogies Susan Doran s writing flows smoothly and is enjoyable to read I greatly appreciated the author s use of original spellings when quoting from letters or documents, it can take a little getting used to but it really brings the reader close to the men and women who wrote them.The first chapter deals with the rapport or lack thereof with her closest kin, in particular her formidable father and sister Mary I She must have felt like she was constantly walking a tight rope with her nearest and dearest, the slightest slip could lead to a loss of status or even her head Then we have her extended family her many Boleyn cousins who found favour and positions at court and those whose royal blood meant that they could never be fully trusted by Elizabeth.Much has been made of the handsome young men that the queen liked to gather around her The courtly Christopher Hatton, dashing Walter Raleigh, impetuous Earl of Essex and of course her beloved Robert Dudley The author examines them all and shows us not only how they affected Elizabeth but also how she influenced their lives for better or worse Her court included some of the brightest and most accomplished men of the age and it is likely that her reign would have been less successful without the talents of Burghley, Walsingham and Robert Cecil These men were unceasingly loyal and had to work extremely hard to keep the realm and Her Majesty safe.I liked this book and would recommend it to any Tudorphile who wants to peel away the layers surrounding Elizabeth, so much has been written of and by her but there is still something elusive about The Virgin Queen By introducing us to those who had the most impact Susan Doran brings us that little bit closer to the real woman

  5. says:

    My copy courtesy of Oxford University Press Net Galley much thanks Probably about 3.5 stars Recommended for those already interested in the Tudor period.For a further review My copy courtesy of Oxford University Press Net Galley much thanks Probably about 3.5 stars Recommended for those already interested in the Tudor period.For a further review

  6. says:

    I have always loved period movies and ones about Queen Elizabeth I in particular These films contribute to a collision of thoughts about some of the factoids stated or implied Was Elizabeth raised by The Other Boleyn Girl as implied by the ending scene of that movie In the movie, Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, did she really take the risk of telling Bloody Queen Mary that she would use her conscience in matters of religion Seemed a foolhardy thing to say And how did she feel about he I have always loved period movies and ones about Queen Elizabeth I in particular These films contribute to a collision of thoughts about some of the factoids stated or implied Was Elizabeth raised by The Other Boleyn Girl as implied by the ending scene of that movie In the movie, Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, did she really take the risk of telling Bloody Queen Mary that she would use her conscience in matters of religion Seemed a foolhardy thing to say And how did she feel about her mother and father Along came Elizabeth I and Her Circle from NetGalley, which I began with alacrity although since it was written with academics in mind, I did get bogged down shortly thereafter Brr the quotes with the Elizabethans crazy spelling Those archaically spelled citations were quite distracting A few times the author included a quote a but modified it with modern spelling, making me wonder why sometimes and not others While the book didn t answer all my questions, I didn t really expect it to E I and Her Circle showed that although young Elizabeth did have some interaction with Henry VIII, she didn t react emotionally to news of her father s death And when she did become queen she favored her mother s relatives with appointed positions Draw your own conclusions.The truncated events in the Cate Blanchett film, Elizabeth, muddied up events and people E I and Her Circle clarified some of these for me Mary of Guise was Mary of Scotland s mother Elizabeth did know William Cecil before she took the throne, Dudley not so much So much for Robert dancing with Elizabeth when she was arrested and taken to the Tower at the opening of that movie.I did admire E s fortitude and cunning in hanging on to the throne of England for the long years of her reign It seemed like she walked a tightrope and did so very well in comparison to her cousin Mary of Scotland The question of succession was vital to understanding E I s actions Whoever she named could become a possible rallying point for her own overthrow She strung people along throughout her whole life in regards to announcing a successor or a husband Many of the foreign princes were Catholic and would bring unrest to her religiously divided kingdom as well as a real threat to her life This affected her relationship with Mary of Scotland, who had been married to a French prince and was Catholic It would have been very unwise for Elizabeth to name Mary as her successor and E was no fool Instead, she gave Mary s son, James, a stipend and coerced him into having protestant tutors The book was very informative if a bit of a chore getting through 3 stars

  7. says:

    Disclaimer I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway Also the amount of time it took me to finish this book is no reflection on the book, but that I was busy with other study This is a 4 book, rather than a 5 book due to the plates being entirely in black and white If you are going to talk about the symbolism in portraits of Elizabeth I, they really need to be reproduced in colour, or a lot of the detail is lost Otherwise this is an excellent book It is a really interesting way of l Disclaimer I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway Also the amount of time it took me to finish this book is no reflection on the book, but that I was busy with other study This is a 4 book, rather than a 5 book due to the plates being entirely in black and white If you are going to talk about the symbolism in portraits of Elizabeth I, they really need to be reproduced in colour, or a lot of the detail is lost Otherwise this is an excellent book It is a really interesting way of looking at the reign of Elizabeth I at a time when monarchical power was so personal, relationships matter This splits those relationships into three categories, kin, courtiers, and councillors of course, there is some overlap, as kin can be both courtiers and councillors.I have read many other books on this period, and this gave me a new perspective, I particularly liked the chapter on the women who serve, as mostly these women are mainly known for their transgressions Of course, some of the people Doran focuses on are famous, but the examination of their relationships with Elizabeth, and each other, does show some of their actions in a different light I would definitely recommend this to any one with an interest in this period

  8. says:

    This is a well written and meticulously documented account of Elizabeth I I confess I didn t read it straight through I think you would have to be extremely interested in the subject to be able to do that , but I read through parts and compared them to a novel on Elizabeth I I was reading concurrently.

  9. says:

    A very good overview of the courtiers and advisors close to Elizabeth I.

  10. says:

    I received this as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I must first disclose that I am no particular fan of Elizabeth I She was a spoiled, manipulative, whiny brat who made everyone around her suffer with her tantrums and outbursts She could not stand to see her favorites happy with anyone but her, yet would or could not ever commit to any of them due to their varying statuses in society However, that being said, I find the Tudor dynasty truly fascinating, and even Elizabeth I received this as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I must first disclose that I am no particular fan of Elizabeth I She was a spoiled, manipulative, whiny brat who made everyone around her suffer with her tantrums and outbursts She could not stand to see her favorites happy with anyone but her, yet would or could not ever commit to any of them due to their varying statuses in society However, that being said, I find the Tudor dynasty truly fascinating, and even Elizabeth s place in it Incidentally, I was concurrently reading God s Traitors Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England, and Elizabeth was not nearly as religiously tolerant as some have been lead to believe in the past I find it unfair that Mary Tudor will forever be Bloody Mary because of her religious fervor, yet there are hardly any mentions at times of the terror that Catholics felt and faced once Mary died and Elizabeth assumed the throne But that is another review for another book I have read many books about life in Elizabethan England, including various books specific in regards to Elizabeth s relationships with certain people, such as her half sister Mary, one specifically about Elizabeth and Dudley, and of course her doomed cousin who repeatedly made the most appallingly poor choices once could make, given her precarious position once in Elizabeth s custody, Mary, Queen of Scots And don t even get me started on the fact that Elizabeth had no right to hold, or put on trial the monarch of another country, nor sign the laughable death warrant and PLEASE, of course she knew about it and sanctioned it and only played innocent afterwards to avoid war with James who himself did not seem terribly bothered by the murder of his mother But why should he, since he had never really known her and was too busy being a sloppily dressed king who apparently could not keep his tongue in his mouth, But I digress.This book is well researched and neatly laid out in a way that anyone could find interesting, whether they are just learning about Elizabeth s world for the first time, or they, like me, have an in depth knowledge already I liked that it was broken up into sections, family, courtiers both men and women , and councilors While I did skim over the chapter on courtiers as it related especially to Dudley because seriously, that is a dead horse that continues to be flogged He and Elizabeth truly were perfect for each other whiny, manipulative brats, a lot of the time And don t even try to tell me he cared one iota when Amy died, since he had not seen her in A YEAR He cared that his reputation was in tatters over the murder allegations and her certainly could never marry Elizabeth now I recognize that of course in any book about Elizabeth there will have to be sections related to Dudley, he was easily the most important man in her life for decades, I just personally am not especially interested in reading any , as I am not sure at this stage what new information can be uncovered Nor to I really care too much that they did or did not ever actually have a sexual relationship I m quite sure they probably did, though I can only hope that the stories of the babies resulting from the rud relationship being killed are untrue, because that in itself is wholly heartbreaking to think of I especially found the section on Christopher Hatton interesting, as he is one of the courtiers I knew the least about And we best not forget poor, stupid Devereux, busting into Elizabeth s chamber in a misguided attempt to win back her favor Clearly he knew her not at all if he thought that was ever a good idea.I wish there wasinformation available on the women who served Elizabeth in her lifetime In this section about courtiers, each of the gentlemen Dudley, Hatton, and Devereux are given their own chapters, while the women are all lumped together in one long chapter Again, this is likely due to the fact that there simply is not as much information about the women of the time, despite them being whollyimportant than those three men, as they were the one who literally attended to the queen s ever whim and need Kat Astley Ashley, whatever you would prefer to call her, as every author takes their own liberty with her name, seems to be one of the few where there arethan a few sentences This is owing to the fact that she is the one woman who was almost always constant in Elizabeth s life, despite a few times where she was locked up for various offences did it ever really seem like a good idea to try to hook the teenaged Elizabeth up with Seymour Seriously But anyway, it felt as though the women were less important and less influencing then the men, which perhaps may have been the case, though it seems to be with as stubborn and narrowminded as Elizabeth seemed to be, that no one could really tell her what to do, save one man, William Cecil.I especially enjoyed the section devoted to Elizabeth s councilors Walsingham has always been a somewhat shadowy figure for me and this book really helped flesh him out and make himreal I guess perhaps because he was so good at his job being a spymaster and all, even in all the books I ve read, I have never been able to fully get a grasp on him as a person But this text nicely laid out who he was and how he fit into this world, spying and all.As I said before, I am not actually particularly fond of Elizabeth as a monarch, but truly found her treatment as a child horrible at times, that she can t really be blamed for turning out the way she did just as I feel the same way about her half sister Mary Here is a baby, clearly one who has a devoted mother who cared deeply for her child, despite not being able to personally raise her Anne Boleyn might have been a lot of things manipulative and home wrecker among them though not incestuous, despite the accusations but from other readings I have done terrible and unattentive mother are not ways she could ever be described You have to wonder how early on she learned the fate of her mother, and how deeply it might have effected Elizabeth for the rest of her life and her relationship with her father Now granted, family relationships look far different today than they did then, but children are still children, and trauma like that surely caused her grief And by various account, Jane Seymour seemed farfond of Mary than Elizabeth, to the point Elizabeth was all but ignored So here, you have a child who may or may not know her mother was beheaded on her father s orders, who has been sent away from court, reduced from princess to lady, then to be rejected by a potential mother figure for reasons that are not in control I must say, while I certainly enjoy reading about this time period, and the Tudors especially, I am certainly glad I was born in the 20th century.Overall, I found this to be a well written, well researched account of Elizabeth s life and the people who knew her While the title may be a bit mis leading as Mary, Queen of Scots was certainly NOT part of her circle , I understand what the author was going for with the title These are the people who, for better or worse, shaped Elizabeth into the person she became, who history though not me remembers as one of England s greatest monarchs Highly recommended for anyone interested in the time period or the Tudors

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