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What a great book  –  I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m upset that I’ve finished it!

Alison Weir, the renowned and respected historian, has delivered a delicious, spicy Elizabethan novel, full to the brim with love and romance, a little steamy raunchiness, heartbreak, pathos, religion, politics, jealousy, war, mischief and Machiavellian intrigue and skulduggery. Weir immerses the reader, a fly on the wall, in the colourful, extravagant, sycophantic and almost theocratic Court of The Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth.

I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying that the protagonists are Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, two lovebirds caught up in a tumultuous storm, the winds of politics, religion and fear keeping them apart as their youth and vitality is buried by the sands of time.

Weir, whilst largely remaining faithful to historical records, she allows herself a little licence with the factual minutiae and periodic language so as to present the reader with an easy and exciting read. The garnish is Weir’s own interpretation and understanding of Queen Elizabeth which locks the reader in the emotional whirlwind which is the highly unenviable and tortured life of this historical icon.

I don’t want to say more than I already have lest I ruin it for those of you who have not read it yet. However, I can say that Alison Weir has whetted my appetite for more of her irresistible mix of substantive historical fact and brilliant storytelling.

I don’t mean this to sound corny but Alison Weir has brought history alive for me and, ready for more, I’m pleased that there’s a lot more where that came from….

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