One of my first reviewers has likened “Elizabeth I” to “A Christmas Carol” in its plot structure. I wasn’t consciously doing it, but those who saw my holiday post about my affection for Ebenezer Scrooge and my ritual of seeing “A Christmas Carol” every year will know it must have invaded my very thinking pattern! Here is the first paragraph of the review, which appeared in the Dallas Literature Examiner on 3/29. The astute reviewer was Marie Burton. Thanks, Marie!
Book Review: Elizabeth I: A Novel by Margaret George
Elizabeth I: A Novel (April 5, 2011 Viking) reads very much like the Dickens’ favorite A Christmas Carol. We
see through the aged Elizabeth’s eyes the ghosts of the past from her parents to her favorites who flit in and
out of her consciousness; the present with the younger courtiers who no longer have anything of value to
Elizabeth except their looks; the future of England because of course this Virgin Queen left no heir for England.
The decisions of the past and the present and how they affect the future of England are also an underlying
theme for Elizabeth as she struggles to maintain her hold on the country that she married for richer or for
poorer. The Spanish Armada was always a threat, and even though she was able to defeat it in 1589, by the
time Spain had rebuilt its forces to strike again, Elizabeth’s most trusted advisors and the strongest fighters
and nobles had withered away.