Review of ‘Elizabeth – The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her’ & Giveaway!

I am delighted to share with you my review of ‘Elizabeth – The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her’ by Robert Stephen Parry.

Be sure to leave a comment after my review, for your chance to win a copy of this book.

This giveaway is now closed

Conditions of Entry

For your chance to win a copy of Elizabeth – The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her, you must be subscribed to On the Tudor Trail’s newsletter (if you are not already, sign up on our homepage).

Then simply leave a comment after this post between now and 16 July 2014. Don’t forget to leave your name and a contact email.

This giveaway is open internationally.

One winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email shortly after the competition closes. Please ensure you’ve added to your address book to avoid missing my email.

Good luck!

Elizabeth – The Virgin Queen and the Men who Loved Her: A Series of Biographical Sketches from the Elizabethan Court

By Robert Stephen Parry

Blurb: The Elizabethan golden age was peopled by a court of flamboyant and devoted men – each one unique, ambitious and talented. At its centre was a woman, Elizabeth, the Tudor princess who succeeded to the throne of England in 1558 and who vowed to her Parliament to remain unwed and a Virgin Queen for the rest of her life. How did such a diverse group of red-blooded men view their ‘Gloriana?’ What were their aims and intentions? What were their dreams? And just how did Elizabeth manage to control and manipulate them? A unique blend of fact and fiction brings the Elizabethan court and its inhabitants to life in an evocative series of biographical sketches that will inform and entertain in equal measure.

Having read and loved Robert Parry’s novels ‘Virgin & the Crab’ and ‘The Arrow Chest’, I could not wait to get my hands on Parry’s latest book ‘Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen and the Men Who Loved Her.’

As the title suggests, the book is a series of short biographies of some of Elizabeth’s favoured courtiers and advisers, including Thomas Seymour, Robert Dudley, John Dee, Christopher Hatton, William Cecil and Robert Devereux. At the completion of each ‘biographical sketch’, Parry rates each man’s accomplishments and qualities using a cheeky Tudor Rose rating system, which imbues the work with humour and charm.  I couldn’t agree more with William Cecil’s five out of five star rating or Dudley’s four out of five stars, after all, he had his faults but like Elizabeth, we love him anyway!

While I enjoyed learning about each of these men and their love for ‘Gloriana’, what sets this book apart is that each factual entry is followed by an entertaining and lighthearted fictional vignette, where Parry brings the characters and Elizabeth’s relationships spectacularly to life.

As we’re told in the preface, the story of Elizabeth and her men is delivered as a series of lectures, based on a conference the author himself attended over a weekend some years ago. So convincing is Parry, I was certain the lectures and the Elizabethan manor house where the retreat took place were real, only to be gently informed by the author that this too was part of the tale! Parry’s ability to effortlessly cocoon fact within a story, within another story, while not compromising on the integrity of the work, will not fail to impress.

A clever mix of fact and fiction, this book will inform and entertain. At 132 pages, this little Tudor treasure can be savoured slowly or devoured in one sitting.

Oh, and there’s even a haunted element to add to the originality and magic of this book, but I’ll let you discover it for yourself!

My rating: Five out of five Tudor Roses 🙂

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  1. Victoria Lyttle says:

    Simply cannot wait to read this! Hope I win!

  2. Lisa Crouse says:

    I can’t wait to read this! Would so love to win! Thank you for this chance to win a free copy!!

  3. Amanda Nellist says:

    Looks like a great read!

  4. Loved and would love to add this to my Tudor collection am so loving all about this time period

  5. Jess Miller says:

    I can’t wait to read this one!

  6. Robert Parry’s books are always wonderful. Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. LOVE to read anything about Elizabeth I . Hopefully I’ll win it.

  8. Thomasin Alyxander says:

    This book sounds like a refreshing look at Elizabeth’s complicated relationships with men. I’m particularly looking forward to Cecil’s section, as his lifetime of selfless devotion to his Queen was nothing short of remarkable.

  9. Sounds wonderfully creative as well as informative. On my list to read… if i don’t win, that is.

  10. Denise Hansen says:

    I love the combination of fact and fiction – unusual and fun. I will have to get this now.

    I have always had a soft spot for Robert Dudley – despite his faults. I think that Elizabeth really loved him.
    On the trivial side, Sir Christopher Hatton is a direct ancestor of Denys Finch Hatton, Karen Blixen’s (Isak Dinesen) famous lover from “Out of Africa”. Finch-Hatton actually resembled Sir Chris.

    Denise Hansen

  11. Audrey Forrest says:

    This sounds amazing and very interesting. I think we can learn a lot about Elizabeth herself by learning about the men she favoured. Thanks to Robert Parry for writing this for us!

  12. Would love to add this to my collection from the Elizabethan Era!

  13. I am subscribed to On the Tudor Trail’s newsletter.
    Would love to read this book!
    Fingers crossed, hope I win!

  14. Sarah M says:

    This sounds like an interesting concept for a book. Combined with a fascinating subject, I would really like to read this one.

  15. Raquel M. says:

    I have added this book to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Read all books about House of Tudor. Elizabeth I is one of more interesting players. And my 3rd cousin via my St John ancestors.

  17. Bronwyn Peatman says:

    Its my birthday on the 16th July … what a great birthday present 😉 teehee 🙂 x

  18. Alison Fox says:

    How amazing I can’t wait to read it! Thank you for the opportunity to enter this contest!

  19. m. gilmore says:

    Love this period in English history.

  20. Jennifer C. says:

    Court life has always fascinated me! I would really enjoy reading this! 🙂

  21. The write up on this book has captured my imagination and would love to read it…very intrigued about the ‘haunted element’!!!

  22. Brandy Violette says:

    Can not wait to read this book! Good luck to all!

  23. julie w. says:

    This sounds absolutely fascinating!Thank you for the chance to win it!

  24. Alisha Huffman says:

    Tudor fans are the luckiest on the web! So many terrific giveaways from so many terrific authors. Thank you for your generosity!

  25. Lee-Anne Parker says:

    Another great book to look forward to reading. Love Tudor times

  26. Billijo Maynard says:

    Absolutely love the history of England, Proud Plantagenet fan but i love Anne Boleyn and her daughter. Good Luck Everyone.

  27. Trisha Jones says:

    This will be a great addition to my Tudor book collection. I hope I win, but I will be reading it either way. 😉

  28. Marilyn Ann Holley says:

    I would love to win this book. I am slowly starting my tudor book collect. This would be a great addition. Plus I hace never won anything. So it would make me most happy to win.

  29. Jax Lockyer-Barrett says:

    Can’t wait to read this amazing book!

  30. Vicky Gorman says:

    I would love to win this book! After immersing myself in the world of Anne Boleyn, I would love to read more about her daughter.

  31. Helen Sparrow says:

    I would love to read more about Elizabeth and the people she had close relationships with. I find her a most enigmatic queen, I think she was one of the best rulers ever. It is a fascinating time in history, which I would love to know more about. Thank you

  32. Can’t wait to read this!

  33. Aleah Taylor says:

    What at incredible sounding book! Each one of my books feels like an adoptive child to me and I think this just has to be a part of my Tudor book family, I love it already.

  34. Susan Hancock says:

    This sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance yo win!

  35. Laura Davidson says:

    Thank you for the giveaway!! I’d love to win! 😀

  36. Laura Patterson says:

    Since retiring from teaching for 30 years last year I have been enjoying learning and reading as much about the Tudor time period as possible. I love learning! I guess that’s why I loved teaching. I would enjoy learning about Elizabeth and her reign. She did rise to the occasion in very difficult circumstances. 🙂

  37. Elizabeth remains one of the most fascinating people in history! The book looks so tempting 🙂

  38. Serena Swift says:

    This would be an amazing book to add to my personal library.

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