Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book review: The Lady Elizabeth (Alison Weir)

Author: Alison Weir

Genre: Historical fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: It's about the Lady Elizabeth's younger years up till the point she ascends to the throne and becomes Queen Elizabeth I. There are also lots of facts on the House of Tudor from King Henry the eigth till Elizabeth herself. You'll learn a little about Elizabeth's relationship with her father and her half-sister Mary who later becomes Queen Mary I.

I was pleasently surprised that a book on history could be so engrossing. I was completely hooked from start to finish and this book actually had me interested to learn more about Queen Elizabeth I specifically and the British royal family in general. Alison Weir's writing is exactly what i prefer in terms of fiction, light on the descriptives and straight to the point. Alison Weir is actually an historian, so you would expect a dry style of writing, but her writing is far from dry and her background as an historian gives her credibility as a novelist. This is more of a history lesson with a little, just a little, sprinkling of fiction. 

The plot of the story makes perfect sense because Alison Weir takes historical facts and adds some drama and lively dialogue to spice it up a bit. It is part historical facts and part fiction. So there are certain parts in this novel which are pure fiction and some which are not. But somehow you can tell what is fiction and what is not. It is a novel after all and she does take some literary license. However, overall, most of her facts are true, just google the bits and pieces and you'll find that she rarely if ever, bends the truth, therefore you'll feel that you're actually learning something when you read this book, unlike say *cough* The Da Vinci Code *Cough*. If your're clever about it you can actually tell when she really deviates from the facts. I don't want to tell you which parts it is, just read and find out yourself. Weir has taken a very complicated subject, sorted it all out in a way that makes sense to those that aren't really fans of history and turned it into a real page turner.

Conclusion:  For a book filled with historical facts with some fiction added in, this book is very interesting and unputdownable. It will get you started on some history on one of the most influential women and monarchs in British history. At the very least you will impress your friends on your knowledge on the subject of Queen Elizabeth I and get you started on the path to learn more on other monarchs in the British royal family. If you're interested to know more on the House of Tudor, especially Queen Elizabeth's early years before she ascended the throne then this is the book for you.

Recommendations: I very much recommend that you BUY this book

Rating: 5stars for educational content, interesting spin on history, not too descriptive & unputdownability