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Nonfiction Monday: Elizabeth and Her Court

In my adult reading I'm exploring Tudor period fiction, but I'll admit that it can be a challenge for my American brain to keep track of the European history involved. Especially how everyone can be called by both their name and their title, so its like everyone has two names. Plus everyone has the same names - Anne, Mary, Catherine - and knowing what the "close stool" is or why it matter so much if the ladies wear the Spanish or French hood. It can be a bit overwhelming. But I've found an enjoyable Cliff Notes sort of help in this series, Life in Elizabethan England, and especially this particular title.

Elizabeth and her Court
by Kathryn Hinds

Benchmark Books, 2007
reviewed from library copy

Elizabeth and her CourtExcerpts of letters, poems, quotes, and literature from the original period capture the feel of the times, while the clear text summarizes and clarifies the historical elements. Lots of period artwork gives readers a view into the styles, homes, and faces of the important figures. This particular book in the series Life in Elizabethan England breaks down chapters on Elizabeth I, Homes, Courtiers, Ladies, Children, Celebrations, and War/Intrigue. While the title includes a glossary, further reading, bibliography, sources and online information, one thing it was missing is a map. An annoying omission, especially as it would have fit in perfectly in the section "Neighbors, Allies and Enemies" which talks about nearby countries, but features a portrait instead of the oblivious and more helpful map. Overall though, a great book for students of the period, no matter their age.

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3 comments:

Perogyo said...

This looks really helpful. I am more familiar with the pre-Elizabethan period (Henry-Edward-Jane-Mary) and even though there are only a few decades separating these rulers so much changed, from neckline styles to duties of the royal attendants. I will keep my eyes open for this!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I laughed at your comments about keeping track of names and references in British history books. So what IS the "close stool"? Thanks for sharing this book.

Ilana Waters said...

I love learning about daily life in other times. The Victorian Era is also a favorite of mine. Someday, folks in the future will likely have such books written about US!