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Elizabeth's Bedfellows An Intimate History of the Queen's Court by Anna Whitelock
  

Elizabeth's Bedfellows An Intimate History of the Queen's Court

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RRP £9.99

Sue Baker's view...

However many books on the Tudors you read there are always surprises and new discoveries to make as Anna Whitelock shows in Elizabeth’s Bedfellows where we learn about the women who served the Queen, sometimes for many years, their dedication – and duties extraordinary. As the title suggests, this is an intimate picture of a Queen and a woman who must be protected and guarded against those who would do her harm through political means, by assassination or even by witchcraft. It feels like having crept backstage so we can witness the famous events of Elizabeth’s reign from the other side, a view that gives immediacy to Anna Whitelock’s absorbing history.

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Synopsis

Elizabeth's Bedfellows An Intimate History of the Queen's Court by Anna Whitelock

At the heart of the new queen's court lay Elizabeth's bedchamber, closely guarded by the favoured women who helped her dress, looked after her jewels and shared her bed. Elizabeth's private life was of public, political concern. Her bedfellows were witnesses to the face and body beneath the make-up and elaborate clothes, as well as to rumoured illicit dalliances with such figures as Robert Dudley. Their presence was for security as well as propriety, as the kingdom was haunted by fears of assassination plots and other Catholic subterfuge. For such was the significance of the queen's body: it represented the very state itself. This riveting, revealing history of the politics of intimacy uncovers the feminized world of the Elizabethan court. Between the scandal and intrigue the women who attended the queen were the guardians of the truth about her health, chastity and fertility. Their stories offer extraordinary insight into the daily life of the Elizabethans, the fragility of royal favour and the price of disloyalty.

Reviews

Elizabeth, subtle and seductive, was also a warrior. Self-possessed, she was also owned by every gossip in Europe. Her virginity was a national asset, but a wasting asset as her reign progressed. Her body was the body politic, closely guarded but obscenely scrutinised, subject to adoration, speculation and threat. Anna Whitelock's skilful and detailed history will bring you closer than seems possible to this glittering, infuriating, fascinating woma - Hilary Mantel

With the lively imagination of a dramatist and the rigor of an academic, Whitelock discards the chastity belt of conventional royal history and presents Elizabeth in terms of the intimate politics of her life - The Times

About the Author

Anna Whitelock's bestselling debut, Mary Tudor: England's First Queen, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. She is a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She regular appears on television and radio and has written for the Guardian, BBC History, Sunday Telegraph and the New York Times. She lives in Cambridge. @AnnaWhitelock www.annawhitelock.co.uk

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd May 2014

Author

Anna Whitelock

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Author's Website

www.annawhitelock.co.uk/
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Publisher

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Format

Paperback
480 pages

Categories

History
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Social & cultural history

Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700

ISBN

9781408833643

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