Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Story of Elizabeth and Dudley

Death and the Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I and the Dark Scandal That Rocked the Throne by Chris Skidmore

Summary: On the morning of September 8, 1560, at the isolated manor of Cunmor place, the body of a young woman was found at the bottom of a staircase, her neck broken. But this was no ordinary death. Amy Robsart was the wife of Elizabeth I’s great favorite, Robert Dudley, the man who many believed she would marry, were he free. Immediately people suspected foul play and Elizabeth’s own reputation was in danger of serious damage. Many felt she might even lose her throne. An inquest was begun, witnesses called, and ultimately a verdict of death by accident was reached. But the mystery refused to die and cast a long shadow over Elizabeth’s reign.

Using recently discovered forensic evidence from the original investigation, Skidmore is able to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of Robsart’s death. This is the story of a treacherous period in Elizabeth’s life: a tale of love, death, and tragedy, exploring the dramatic early life of England’s Virgin Queen.

Review: A book about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley that is much too long.

The title of this book is quite deceptive. I was expecting it to be about the scandal surrounding Robert Dudley after his wife's death. It's actually about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley although the death of Amy Robsart does play a large role in their relationship. The book did seem a bit long to be only about Amy's death. Even so, I didn't like how the book was mislabeled. The summary promises that Skidmore is able to put an end to the speculation of Amy's death, which it doesn't.

A reader mentioned some errors in the book. I didn't notice any glaring errors, but the fact that there were errors in the book hindered my enjoyment. Fact checking is something that needs to be to done in a non-fiction book. I also got tired of the numerous listings of what Robert Dudley or others bought and the exact prices. I know that sometimes can be useful, but too much is too much. It was slow going reading this book, but at least there wasn't too much speculation which I've noticed in non-fiction books where there isn't much evidence.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are interested in the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley.

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