One of the high points in the history of world civilization was the Elizabethan Age in England, when Englishmen were setting sail to explore the New World and when poets and playwrights like Ben Jonson and Will Shakespeare were fashioning the crown of English literature. The inspiration of the age—and the one who gave a name to it—was Queen Elizabeth, the high-spirited, red-haired daughter of Henry VIII.
Contrary to what you might expect of a king's child, the young Princess Elizabeth led a lonely life in the country house at Hunsdon with only her governess and tutor for companions. It was with joy that she received the news that she was recalled to the court by her father. But even in the sumptuous palace at Whitehall, ten-year-old Elizabeth was not happy. Her father was suspicious of everyone, even of his children, and she had to watch her tongue as carefully as the oldest courter in order not to offend him. But one day her quick wit got the better of her, and she was banished from the court to live with her little brother Edward.
It was many years, during which frail Edward died and their sister Mary held the country in her grip, before Elizabeth herself came to the throne. In The Story of Good Queen Bess Alida Malkus surpasses herself with the vivid and absorbing story of Elizabeth as a princess and as the queen who ruled England in her greatest glory.
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