terça-feira, 5 de abril de 2016

Book Review | Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens by Jane Dunn

Two of the most fascinating women in history for me, whose lives have been condensed into a book? Count me in for that read. Jane Dunn's Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens did not disappoint in the little details one wants to know about as well as in historic context to keep one aware of what surrounded such intriguing personalities as these two royal women, cousins and rivals.

It did take me while to finish reading the book though. I found it very dense sometimes, both in historic facts and in quotes from original sources. Of course, that's actually what makes a great biography, but I must have been in the mood for a lighter read or something. I started by being amused, but then all the ancient English bored me and cut the pacing for my reading dynamic.

I wish the book had gone into the gossipy details about why Elizabeth did not marry (for example, all the tales about her being a man in disguise), but I guess there were not enough historic facts that back that up. I was also interested in what turned out to be smaller than expected details such as the practices of prediction, especially astrology, in royal courts as well as suspicions of witchcraft.

I was pleased to read so much about Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn, and also her father, King Henry VIII, both favorites of mine in history lessons at school. Thanks to this book I'm all the more interested in Queen Elizabeth I, as she continues to seem so virginal and at the same time so strong and intelligent in my imagination.

I will certainly try to read more of Jane Dunn's biographies in the future.



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