HOWEVER I shifted to thinking of this as historical fiction that majors on the historical and minors on the fiction novelistic history , rather like I Claudius, which is, I think, a fitting genre judgment Also, I didn t have any idea what was actually going to happen I m weak on the Elizabethans, apparently , and so the suspense built dramatically and the ending was a very effective punch in the gut In the end, surprising myself, I highly recommend it I would like to read something on the topic academic, which is a good sign.
Though not everyone s favourite book of this period, this retains its genre s benchmark status Once considered the definitive piece, it has been repeatedly superseded by aficionados whose works benefit from modern research Yet this vital contribution by a master wordsmith in a class of his own cannot be overlooked by today s Elizabethan history buffs.
Perhaps Lytton Strachey never intended Elizabeth and Essex as primarily a detailed documentation of this turbulent royal liaison He was, first and foremost, a supreme storyteller.
A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge and founding member of the influential Bloomsbury Group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, Strachey notably established a new form of biography that saw empathy and personal insight meet wit and irreverence He was influenced by Dostoyevsky, whose novels Strachey read and reviewed Similarly Sigmund Freud s influence over Strachey s work, particularly in Elizabeth and Essex, has been commonly noted Not to everyone s stylistic taste, lacking the popular appeal of recent Tudor histories, this retains an important place in its genre I suspected my Elizabethan history reading incomplete before consuming this and on finishing it saw why.
Though I might never have bought this thoughtful gift from someone dear, it undoubtedly broadened my literary scope Having since read dozens of fine historical biographies, I still honour this with pride of place on my shelf.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Elizabethean era, or the privatelife of Queen Elizabeth I.
I didn t expect to enjoy a history book this much Elizabeth and Essex must be the most beautifully written non fiction I ve ever read The authour is praised for his deep understanding of the characters, and his quiet sense of humour is absolutely irresistible This is definitely among the best books I ve read this year An exquisite page turner.
The doomed headstrong earl the wounded Queen the serpent Francis Bacon the subtle Master Secretary their story told in beautiful sinuous prose
Not the edition I read.
This read like fiction than history, but the writing was terrific I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to Tudor fans.
This was fun Part history and part love story Highly recommend.
short 180 pages but colourful account of the relationship in the 1590s between Elizabeth I and the second Earl of Essex, which ended with his execution in 1601 No footnotes or much sourcing at all, which makes one a bit suspicious of its historical accuracy, though it is told in suitably dramatic terms I knew the basics already, but Strachey catches our attention by portraying a court struggle between Cecil the younger son of Lord Burghley, who founded the Salisbury dynasty and Essex s supporters, with Francis Bacon playing a key role ny switching sides and ensuring Essex s doom the queen then dies of a broken heart I had not realised that Essex was actually the great grandson of the other Boleyn girl , Anne s sister Mary indeed his grandmother was quite possibly her daughter by Henry VIII, making him the queen s great nephew It also hadn t occurred to me that he was much the most prominent courtier ever to be made Lord Deputy or Lord Lieutenant of Ireland I had vaguely assumed that his father had held the post at some point before his horrible death, but I was wrong The involvement of William Shakespeare in the whole thing is interesting but incidental and anyway covered better by Shapiro.
One Of The Most Famous And Baffling Romances In History Between Elizabeth I, Queen Of England And Robert Devereux, Earl Of Essex Began In May Of , When She Was Fifty Three And He Was Just Shy Of Twenty Their Relationship Continued Until , When The Earl Of Essex Was Beheaded For Treason And, In A Succession Of Brilliant Scenes, Strachey Portrays The Queen S And The Earl S Compelling Attraction For On Another, Their Impassioned Disagreements, And Their Mutual Contest For Power, Which Led To A Final, Tragic Confrontation Here We Also Have Superb Portraits Of Influential People Of The Time Francis Bacon, Robert Cecil, Walter Raleigh, And Other Figures Of The Court Who Struggled To Assert Themselves In A Kingdom That Was Primarily Defined By Her Sovereign, And So Now Seen Through History S Lens As Elizabethan England