Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

While working at the bookstore (before it closed) I kept catching the site of this book on one of the shelves. The cover was simple yet intriguing and the mention of "Elizabeth" plus the garb worn by the woman on the cover gave me reason to believe that the book might just be about Queen Elizabeth.

See, I have an odd fascination of her. I get very excited when I find items involving Queen Elizabeth that strikes my fancy. I picked the book up and discovered to my pleasure that the book was indeed about Queen Elizabeth but pertaining to her childhood. Sitting it back down, knowing my beloved bookstore was going to close and that I would be unemployed, I didn't buy it.

Skip forward four months to when I do have a job and I happily made this purchase! I read the book in about a weeks time which was decent time considering I worked 30 hours, did many errands, went to the gym, and worked on editing my own work. But when I did have the time to sit down and read I would struggle to put it down. While at work I would constantly be thinking of the Lady Elizabeth and the story I was reading.

My impression of the book was of excitement but marked with a few flaws. Do not be mistaken this book is not about Queen Elizabeth but rather the Lady Elizabeth. Meaning this story takes place at the time that Ex-Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded up to the moment where Lady Elizabeth, in her twenties, is declared queen of England.

The book certainly kept up with events to keep it entertaining and leaving me wanting more. I would end a chapter and immediately want to know what followed. All of this is good, all of this I am sure is what makes this book popular and the reason why I loved it so much.

However I simply cannot read a book without searching for faults.

The book lacked severely in detail of locations, emotions, and feelings. Yes, brief dialogue about feelings and what was around the characters were written, but nothing incredibly detailed. I was left wondering just what the gardens looked like, just what type of flowers Elizabeth saw, just what the throngs of people who cheered her on appeared to look like. It was my biggest dislike of the book. The entire story was told through dialogue with bits of description rather then being shown. Thank goodness there was so much dialogue to write and so many events to happen because if there wasn't... if Queen Elizabeth's life had been a less hectic eventful one... the story would have been dry and boring.

The younger Elizabeth caused me some discomfort also for the fact that she was nearly three years old yet spoke like an adult. If she used more delicate language, that of a child who is well learned but still a child. However, the point where Elizabeth is only a child is relatively brief before she's old enough to be believable to have such dialect.

Despite my complaints of the book I truly did enjoy it. The author wrote many other books from Elizabeth's time and I believe I'll look into them further and will probably read them again. We shall see and if I do, I'll certainly note it!

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