I just finished reading this book with my oldest daughter, Charity. We read it together as a read-aloud and we thoroughly enjoyed it!
We are learning about the middle ages in history right now, so this book was most fitting. Carolyn Meyer did an excellent job of endearing us to princess, and later Queen Elizabeth I. The book is written in first person, as if a kind of journal of Elizabeth Tudor. It is separated into chapters as opposed to dated journal entries, however. I much prefer this style over the dated entry option.
For a week, we would convene each evening by the fireplace, snuggle up together, and step back in time. At least, that is how it felt. We looked forward to this book each night, because it made us feel like we were stepping back in time. As if we were experiencing life ourselves as Elizabeth Tudor. Filled with drama, as it was!
The to-be-queen did not have an easy life. The book effectively appeals to ones emotions as the young Elizabeth experiences heart break, abandonment, confusion, betrayal, imprisonment and more. Some call her the Queen that almost wasn’t. Of course, she was the heir to proceed her very catholic half sister Queen Mary (AKA bloody Mary). Her very birth right is what caused her life to constantly hang in balance, as she, unlike her sister, was protestant. As you can imagine, Mary would want nothing to do with a protestant monarch.
Both my daughter and I learned much from this book. The small things, such as customs and a general cultural feel of the time, as well as major historic events. We learned names and the significance of palaces surrounding London, and traditional royal retreat locations etc. It was not a boring approach to these historical facts, but instead it had us at the edge of our seats.
We were very sensitive to be sure that the information presented was factual, and looked up a great deal of the events and information. What we looked up all agreed with factual historical accounts.
Do you know what the first thing that proceeded from Elizabeth Tudor’s lips upon being proclaimed queen? She quoted ps. 118:23 which says, “This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvellous in our eyes”. She of course quoted the verse in latin, as her time preceded the printing and acceptance of a more modern english bible. This was my favourite historical fact tid-bit of the entire book. It almost brought me to tears. It truly was a work of God’s providence that brought her safely to the throne, and I love that she gave Him the glory.
I highly recommend this book to children and adults alike. I enjoyed it every bit as much as my daughter.