Begun, 4/1/2011: Now, as much as I love Alison’s work, I have been avoiding this book. My foray into Tudor literature began with The Royal Diaries, Elizabeth I, Tudor Rose. This is a very innocent depiction of Elizabeth as a young girl, as well as the world around her, and I fell in love with her and would defend her at almost all costs. However, over the 11 or so years that I have been reading and accumulating novels, the idea of Elizabeth’s purity and innocence in her childhood and of her just and wise behavior in later years becomes less and less, the image tarnishing with the addition of human nature into the picture. So…honestly, I’ve been avoiding this book as I know that it encompasses her time spent in Catherine Parr Seymour’s household after the death of Henry VIII and we all know of that indecent behavior that Thomas Seymour engaged in with a teenage Elizabeth. For a long time, I didn’t want to think about the possibility that she welcomed and perhaps even encouraged it.
However, I cannot let a silly fear keep me from one of my favorite authors or the idea that a girl who would be Queen was very human after all. Now can I?
That being said, I truly enjoyed Weir’s third person limited view of a dear, three-year-old Elizabeth and how she views the world around her. Quite the startling perspective for one so young.