Monday, May 9, 2011

The Virgin Queen's Daughter

I read this book a year or so ago, but I had to share because I loved it. This book is about Queen Elizabeth I, if she had had a daughter. The author chose to write about a girl instead of boy, because it would be interesting to see how alike they would have been. Oftentimes when a woman gave birth out of wedlock or from an affair, a midwife would be instructed to deliver and sometimes smother the baby if it needed to be kept secret.

This book supposes that Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter, and that she was not successfully smothered. The midwife took her and saved her, and gave her to her mistress because she had not had children of her own. They kept her birth a secret until Elinor was later to serve at Elizabeth's court. Her father had greatly encouraged Elinor's learning, so she was well read and very knowledgeable. When he passed away, Elinor desired to go to Court despite her mother's wishes. There the pieces of the puzzle start to add up. Many comment on her red hair since it was quite rare, and her smarts. The Queen even treated her suspiciously and watched her closely. Her nurse Hepzibah, the one who delivered her and kept it a secret, had kept a piece of fabric from the bed curtains. No sooner had she given it to Elinor than she was found and killed by the Queen's men. Elinor's mother is powerless to help her.

This book is exciting as it follows Elinor through the intrigues of Court, a marriage, and imprisonment in the tower. You won't be disappointed, this book is very exciting. It is interesting not only to think of the possibilities that Elizabeth had a child, but also to learn more about her. Elizabeth is a complex character herself; suspicious of men because her father King Henry VIII killed her mother Anne Boleyn. She never marries or has children herself. Read more if you want to find out what happens to Elinor....

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