The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
A Novel

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.

Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England’s most intriguing and powerful queen.

Even at age two, Elizabeth is keenly aware that people in the court of her father, King Henry VIII, have stopped referring to her as “Lady Princess” and now call her “the Lady Elizabeth.” Before she is three, she learns of the tragic fate that has befallen her mother, the enigmatic and seductive Anne Boleyn, and that she herself has been declared illegitimate, an injustice that will haunt her.

What comes next is a succession of stepmothers, bringing with them glimpses of love, fleeting security, tempestuous conflict, and tragedy. The death of her father puts the teenage Elizabeth in greater peril, leaving her at the mercy of ambitious and unscrupulous men. Like her mother two decades earlier she is imprisoned in the Tower of London–and fears she will also meet her mother’s grisly end. Power-driven politics, private scandal and public gossip, a disputed succession, and the grievous example of her sister, “Bloody” Queen Mary, all cement Elizabeth’s resolve in matters of statecraft and love, and set the stage for her transformation into the iconic Virgin Queen.

Alison Weir uses her deft talents as historian and novelist to exquisitely and suspensefully play out the conflicts between family, politics, religion, and conscience that came to define an age. Sweeping in scope, The Lady Elizabeth is a fascinating portrayal of a woman far ahead of her time–an orphaned girl haunted by the shadow of the axe, an independent spirit who must use her cunning and wits for her very survival, and a future queen whose dangerous and dramatic path to the throne shapes her future greatness.

About Alison Weir

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ALISON WEIR is the New York Times bestselling author of many historical biographies, including Mary Boleyn, The Lady in the Tower, Mistress of the Monarchy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and of the novels Captive Queen, Innocent Traitor, and The Lady Elizabeth. She lives in Surrey, England, with her husband.

Author Residence: Surrey, England
Published August 5, 2008 by Ballantine Books. 496 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lady Elizabeth

Publishers Weekly

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Weir (Innocent Traitor) lends her considerable historical knowledge to the early years of England's famous queen in this absorbing second novel. The tale chronicles the life of Elizabeth I from her ea

Mar 31 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Rosalyn Landor distinguishes the female characters nicely, handles the British and Welsh accents well and has a charming narrator's voice. She's less successful voicing the children, who

Jun 30 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel


A number of novels have looked at the glorious and dramatic reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England's most beloved queen, but not many have looked at her childhood and early adulthood before she was queen which featured quite a bit of drama as well.

Nov 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel


Weir confesses during the author’s interview, that when she started this book she was afraid she was going to be rehashing everything she had just written about in ‘Innocent Traitor’, but that wasn’t the case because she found there was such a divergence between the personalities of both Jane and...

Apr 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

Suite 101

Elizabeth I, Queen of England Though history already confirms Elizabeth succession to the throne, Alison Weir’s The Lady Elizabeth historically and artfully details the changing roles and the fluctuating status that Elizabeth survived to be crowned Queen of England.

Jun 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

Open Letters Monthly

In Weir’s view, Elizabeth must be forever innocent, and this (far more than her innovation of a miscarriage and the ultimate refutation of the sobriquet ‘Virgin Queen,’ the book’s nominal bombshell) sets the verisimilitude of her book off-kilter, because her Lady Elizabeth is constantly aghast, c...

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Gather Books

After reading several of Alison Weir's books -- nonfiction as well as fiction -- I am convinced that time machines exist.

Apr 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

Large Print Reviews

The Lady Elizabeth is Alison Weir's second foray into the world of fiction.

Jul 11 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

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