I first heard about his book through the Chunkster Reading Challenge. I probably would have come across it anyway since it belongs to the kind of genre I do like to read. Historical Fiction. The story of Elizabeth I. 680 pages of it. Told by herself and her cousin Lettice, the granddaughter of her mother's sister. So we can see various sides of the Queen's life.
Of course, this is a historical novel, that means most of it is fiction based on the life of the protagonist. The facts that can be traced back (year of birth and death, people they met etc.) have to be correct but the rest can only be guessed. What I still like about these kind of novels it what we learn about the life of people during that time in general. How did the poor live, how the aristocrats. What went on behind closed curtains, what did they need the different servants for? That is why I love historical novels.
And this one was very well written. I am sure I will read more by this author.
From the back cover: "1588. In the height of her power is the legendary Elizabeth Tudor, history's most enigmatic queen. She is the virgin with many suitors; the victor of the Armada who hated war; the jewel-bedecked woman always pinching pennies.
Elizabeth's flame-haired cousin, Lettice Knollys, is her bitter rival. In love with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and mother to the Earl of Essex, the mercurial nobleman who challenged Elizabeth's throne, Lettice has been intertwined with Elizabeth since childhood.
This is a story of two women of fierce intellect and desire: one trying to protect her country and throne; the other trying to regain power and position for her family. Their rivalry soon involves everyone close to Elizabeth – from the famed courtiers who enriched the crown to the legendary poets and playwrights.
And, for Elizabeth, to be married to her people meant she must rule as much with her heart as with her head . . ."