Lisa Hilton

Biography of Elizabeth I which concentrates on the way in which the famous English queen presented herself as a ruler, with special reference to contemporary ideas of how princes should act (drawn particularly from Machiavelli and Castiglione). Generally an entertaining read, and with some interesting insights (for example, an explanation of why she hesitated so long before signing the execution warrant for Mary Queen of Scots). However, I found there to be a lot of irritating small issues, which basically lost a star's worth of rating. These included some which could be typos - 1485 as a year when in context 1385 is clearly meant, for instance, but others are just sloppy. There are people mentioned whose names change from sentence to sentence, or who are confused with others; there is a note on spelling in the afterword which obviously includes an editorial note to move it elsewhere (to "the beginning"). And so on. A pity, because otherwise this is an excellent piece of history.

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