The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir, is more ‘the reign of Elizabeth I’, in that it only gives the bare essentials of background before starting with when succeeds to the throne of England at the age of 25. However, Weir has covered the earlier parts of her live in other books, so there isn’t much reason to go into it here.

Past that, it is a biography, and good one too. Weir takes us on a tour of Elizabeth’s life, and talks about her court, her politics, her intrigues, her courting…. Weir usually takes time out to discuss the general conditions of life in the era she’s writing about, but this happens a little unexpectedly in two chapters in the middle of the book, instead of setting the scene at the beginning. There’s a lot of talk about her court, and the people who populate it, and discussions of many of the stories that grew up around her reign. Generally what you expect from a good biography, and handled very well.

In all, a good, entertaining book, and worth a read to anyone interested in Elizabeth I or the Elizabethan era in general.