This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign.
Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior.
The political and social events of the reign are presented as they affected Elizabeth, and this epic story is set within the context of the magnificence of the Tudor court. Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes the closest we will ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.