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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.
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
Publication date: 22/05/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
|Publication date:||22nd May 2014|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700,|
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.ukMore About Anna Whitelock