Review: I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles

Rosalind Miles, oh Rosalind happy I am to have found you! You have written a most excellent novel about my favorite monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, and gave me hours of reading ecstasy that I will never forget! I loved every minute of this book!!!!

I, Elizabeth is a fantastic read of the life, loves, trials and tribulations of Queen Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen". We follow Elizabeth from childhood, when she was labeled a "bastard" and her mother a "whore", to the treacherous times before her accession to the throne, through her 45 year reign as Queen of England, until her death at the age of 69. Miles does a great job at putting you right there with her through it all...the good, the bad and the ugly!

Life of Queen Elizabeth I in pictures "Queening It"

The novel is broken down into 5 parts...Bastard, Virgin, Queen, Bellona and Gloriana, the five phases in Elizabeth's life. At a little over 600 pages, this is no light reading...but, do not fret, the chapters are short and it goes by quickly. Elizabeth is portrayed just how I imagined her...spunky, fiesty, strong, vain, gutsy, ornery and a tad bitchy! And it's a good thing that she was all those things, or else she never would've lasted against her Parliament!

The question of Elizabeth's virginity was handled very well in my opinion...she was such a passionate woman (being the offspring of two very amorous people, poor girl didn't stand a chance) and always surrounded herself with adoring men, it's easy to see how the scandals and rumors started. The matter of marriage never ceased to be a nuisance to Elizabeth and I can certainly understand her reluctance to it...after seeing what all the men in her life did to their wives, who could blame her?

The dialect in this novel was superb, Elizabeth has some great quotes that would make me laugh out loud or give me fantastic insight into that complex brain of hers...
On Mary, Queen of Scots...
"And they say Mary was a saint, a Catholic martyr? She was the vilest wretch I ever knew. Of all women, she most justified the gross term that the vulgar give to all our sex. She was, in every sense of that capacious word - let me fall into French now, for greater delicacy, offering their three letters for our four - a "com". Except that she had neither the beauty nor the depth, as the French say..."
On marriage with Robert Dudley...
"How could I refuse him? Yet how could I accept? For I was married already - married to England from that moment in Westminster Abbey when I bared my breasts to the cold, rancid oil and felt the chill kiss of England's ring upon my finger. And any other marriage would be adultery, fornication, blasphemy..."
On her love of men...
"So, without dis-love or disloyalty to all my lords, to my love Robin, to my late last lord, I shall look for new partners. And as dancing goes, there is a fair youth newly come to Court fresh from the shires, the dew on his cheek, the fire in his eyes, tall, with a horseman's body and fine legs and that hint of red in his hair, in his beard...
Yes, I shall try his skill. As God's my witness, I pray I shall never be too old to enjoy making a little winter love in a dark corner. I can still relish flirting, and I shall always need to be adored."

To all the men she's loved before...Henry Howard, Thomas Seymour, Robert Dudley, Christopher Hatton, Walter Raleigh and Robert Devereux.

Bottom line: Yours truly most enthusiastically recommends this outstanding novel to anyone and everyone who will listen!


  1. Wow, you do seem to love that book...I so need a book to love right now :D

  2. Love the pic's of robert. This one is next on my bookshelf!

  3. I's great..
    May I ask for a picture,
    Yudi, from Indonesia

  4. Wow! That sounds like a great book...glad you liked it.

  5. I thought this book was very slow at times and didn't really care for it. Although I liked the rationales Miles provided for some of Elizabeth's behavior and choices, I didn't find her characterization of Elizabeth very engaging.

  6. I'm so picky when it comes to this monarch...One of the reasons why I was really hesitant about reading this one. But, you, Amy, have me so curious now- and your review is excellent. How can I not give it a try? Sounds soo good!

  7. I have had this on my TBR list, as I have 3 other 'specifically' Elizabeth books as well.. I wonder if this book would ruin it for the others?! Thanks for the great review, I have been watching & waiting for it from you :)

  8. Can you believe I've never read any of her books? I know. it's blasphemy. I intend on fixing this sorry state this year and I might just start with this book.

  9. Oh wow!!!!! If I end up living on the streets because I'm broke, I know who to blame.

  10. This sounds great! I may have to give it a shot.

  11. Rosalind Miles is an excellent author and quite dedicated. I've just added this to my TBR.
    I heard her Guinevere books are good too.

  12. I'm glad you loved this book so much because it's sitting on my shelf!

  13. this sounds great, I need to add this author to my TBR.
    I enjoy this time period.

  14. I have this book in a bookcase in my bedroom collecting dust and it has been there a long time. I need to dust it off and read it as Elizabeth I is my favorite also... Thanks for the review and reminder!!!!!


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