Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn
Cousins, Rivals, Queens

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



The political and religious conflicts between Queen Elizabeth I and the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots, have for centuries captured our imagination and inspired memorable dramas played out on stage, screen, and in opera. But few books have brought to life more vividly than Jane Dunn’s Elizabeth and Mary the exquisite texture of two women’s rivalry, spurred on by the ambitions and machinations of the forceful men who surrounded them. The drama has terrific resonance even now as women continue to struggle in their bid for executive power.

Against the backdrop of sixteenth-century England, Scotland, and France, Dunn paints portraits of a pair of protagonists whose formidable strengths were placed in relentless opposition. Protestant Elizabeth, the bastard daughter of Anne Boleyn, whose legitimacy had to be vouchsafed by legal means, glowed with executive ability and a visionary energy as bright as her red hair. Mary, the Catholic successor whom England’s rivals wished to see on the throne, was charming, feminine, and deeply persuasive. That two such women, queens in their own right, should have been contemporaries and neighbours sets in motion a joint biography of rare spark and page-turning power.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Jane Dunn

See more books from this Author
Jane Dunn is the author of a biography of Mary Shelley, a study of the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, and most recently of a groundbreaking life of Antonia White. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Bath, England.From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Elizabeth and Mary

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

It is hard not to feel that reducing Elizabeth and Mary to their relationship has the effect of diminishing their political significance, so that their reigns become a perpetual counterpoint to the grand narrative of Tudor history, the one in which Henry VIII's crown eventually lands on the head ...

Apr 25 2003 | Read Full Review of Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, ...


The Scottish queen was found guilty of treason, but Elizabeth resisted signing Mary's death warrant and then delayed carrying it out until her courtiers finally did so without her knowledge.

Jun 12 2006 | Read Full Review of Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, ...

Reader Rating for Elizabeth and Mary

An aggregated and normalized score based on 58 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review