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Virgin: Prelude to the Throne by Robin…
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Virgin: Prelude to the Throne

by Robin Maxwell

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318553,868 (3.42)1
A book of passion, of sixteenth-century England, of greed and political ambition unto death. Historians and novelists have written extensively about the various aspects of Queen Elizabeth I's long, rich, and tumultuous life. No one has ever given us a fully realized portrait of the greatest English monarch as a young girl. Concluding her brilliant Tudor trilogy, Robin Maxwell enters this new territory by introducing Elizabeth as a romantic and vulnerable teenager dangerously awakening to sexuality with the wrong man. Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was banished from the court at the age of two when her father sent Anne Boleyn to her death. Seven years later, when the gracious and immensely wealthy Catherine Parr became Henry's sixth wife, she softened the King's heart and Elizabeth was readmitted to the court. For the next four years the young princess enjoyed a warm friendship with Catherine and a new sense of belonging.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
Set early in the life of Elizabeth, Daughter of the Great Henry VIII, this is a part fictionalised version of her life and the scheming that she gets involved in. She is still only 15 by the book's end, so we dont see the woman who eventually ascends the throne to rule in an almost manly fashion for over 40 years. She is in fact young and immature, and infatuated with her step mother's plotting new husband.

I did find the book a little too modern in some of the language that the characters used (wont pick out examples right now), and because this is a part fiction account, the second part of the book - where Maxwell admits in the post script to taking certain liberties because she is now working without public record - I do think the book was running the risk of become a little absurd. ( )
  nordie | Mar 18, 2010 |
If you're a follower of my blog, then surely you know that of all English monarchs, Elizabeth I is in No way my favourite...Sorry- but that's just the way it is. There's just something cold, calculating and non-feeling about her- for me..yet, I keep reading more and more books on her. There's something intriguing about her that's for sure. Or maybe, I just won't allow myself to believe that what you see is what you get-- and nothing so far has really moved me to change my opinion of her...

Until... Virgin: Prelude to the Throne, by Maxwell. This is the story of Elizabeth from about the age of 13 to 15- don't kid yourself, this is not children's literature. Major things happen to Elizabeth and England within these two years to spur England into a series of dramatic turnabouts that it would be impossible to write-off this important time period.

Elizabeth is being raised by her step-mother, the Dowager Queen Catherine and her husband, Thomas Seymour. With Kat as her guardian-lady-in waiting, you would think that Elizabeth had a dandy 'ole time with this wonderful mom and dashing dad...Poor Elizabeth, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Elizabeth endures such traumatic episodes that no child of that age should ever go through. The abuse, betrayal, confusion and major incidents that happened to her would for sure leave a mark on her forever. For me, this book helped explain so many things. The poor child was torn between guilt, so-called love, shame, loss, confusion and almost treason- with the risk of death.

I think I've never despised a character more than Thomas Seymour. And- what a change of heart for me to say that Elizabeth endeared me to no end! Her story literally broke my heart. I felt so much tenderness for this young girl who had her innocence cruelly taken away. What more could she experience aftet having lost her mother in the harshest of ways, her father rejecting her when she needed him most, and then this cruel man luring her heart and young blossoming passions in such a pedophilic way...all for his own glory. Poor, poor Elizabeth!

She trusted and loved this slime ball and felt guilty for thinking that she may have been the one to lure him on! These are the typical feelings of youngsters who go through abuse of this sort. Yet, after all she went through, horrible damage to her soul and person, our beautiful young royal, came out standing tall, proud and more majestic than ever, and I rooted for her all the way!

I must say that I am utterly surprised that after reading so much history, I've never read anything in such detail about this particular time in Elizabeth's life. There's always bits and pieces alluding to this horrid period- but never in such detail and never so real. Even Catherine Parr's death solved a few questions I had. this book is a must read.

Virgin, is a must read for all Elizabethan fans and historians who feel there is a missing link in Elizabeth's life. Robin Maxwell has helped put the pieces together for me and now Elizabeth appears as a whole new different person. Her depth in character, her choices in life, her destiny and her ruling have roots from a far deeper place. I understand her so much better.

I highly recommend this beautiful, heart-wrenching and enlightening read to all. Fantastic book- Thank you so much Robin Maxwell! ( )
  LucyB. | Feb 4, 2010 |
Maxwell should have stopped after the first novel in the series. If it were possible to leave a rating lower than a 1, this book earned it.
Thankfully, I bought this book at a used bookstore. ( )
  dread_ex | Sep 17, 2008 |
A must-read for those interested in historical fiction and/or those with an interest in the life of the fascinating Queen Elizabeth I.

WARNING: will require major suspension of disbelief as some events not particularly believable. Remember, it's historical FICTION.

Read the Full Review here: http://www.epinions.com/content_196099542660 ( )
  jc_hall | Mar 7, 2007 |
Wonderful book! Great writing. And wonderful story telling. It wasn't until I was almost done with this one that I found out it had two books before it.But that was still okay. This book stands alone perfect well for a Tudor fan.A wonderful story of the turmoil of young Elizabeth's life. I highly recommend this one. ( )
Showing 5 of 5
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A book of passion, of sixteenth-century England, of greed and political ambition unto death. Historians and novelists have written extensively about the various aspects of Queen Elizabeth I's long, rich, and tumultuous life. No one has ever given us a fully realized portrait of the greatest English monarch as a young girl. Concluding her brilliant Tudor trilogy, Robin Maxwell enters this new territory by introducing Elizabeth as a romantic and vulnerable teenager dangerously awakening to sexuality with the wrong man. Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was banished from the court at the age of two when her father sent Anne Boleyn to her death. Seven years later, when the gracious and immensely wealthy Catherine Parr became Henry's sixth wife, she softened the King's heart and Elizabeth was readmitted to the court. For the next four years the young princess enjoyed a warm friendship with Catherine and a new sense of belonging.

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Arcade Publishing

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