Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince

Lisa Hilton

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Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince

Elizabeth Renaissance Prince A new portrait that casts the queen as she saw herself not as an exceptional woman but as an exceptional ruler Queen Elizabeth I was all too happy to play on courtly conventions of gender when it sui

  • Title: Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince
  • Author: Lisa Hilton
  • ISBN: 9780544577848
  • Page: 324
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A new portrait that casts the queen as she saw herself not as an exceptional woman, but as an exceptional ruler Queen Elizabeth I was all too happy to play on courtly conventions of gender when it suited her weak and feeble woman s body to do so for political gain But in Elizabeth, historian Lisa Hilton offers ample evidence why those famous words should not be taken aA new portrait that casts the queen as she saw herself not as an exceptional woman, but as an exceptional ruler Queen Elizabeth I was all too happy to play on courtly conventions of gender when it suited her weak and feeble woman s body to do so for political gain But in Elizabeth, historian Lisa Hilton offers ample evidence why those famous words should not be taken at face value With new research out of France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, Hilton s fresh interpretation is of a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince and used Machiavellian statecraft to secure that position A decade since the last major biography, this Elizabeth breaks new ground and depicts a queen who was much less constrained by her femininity than most treatments claim For readers of David Starkey and Alison Weir, it will provide a new, complex perspective on Elizabeth s emotional and sexual life It s a fascinating journey that shows how a marginalized newly crowned queen, whose European contemporaries considered her to be the illegitimate ruler of a pariah nation, ultimately adapted to become England s first recognizably modern head of state.

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      Published :2018-010-25T06:43:20+00:00

    One thought on “Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince

    1. Jaylia3 on said:

      If you wanted to create a character for your novel or play, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with someone as interesting and story-worthy as England’s Elizabeth I. After her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded Elizabeth was declared a bastard, but she continued with her rigorous education and the hardships she experienced as a result of her demotion helped make her politically savvy, a trait that saved her neck more than once and ultimately put her on the throne. I’ve enjoyed several biograp [...]

    2. Leslie Goddard on said:

      I really enjoyed this biography of Queen Elizabeth I, though I'm not surprised it has gotten some 1- and 2-star reviews. This is probably not the best first biography of Elizabeth (others are shorter and more lively in style). Nor does it break new ground in terms of facts about her life (are there really many more "facts" to be uncovered?)But where Hilton really excels is in her insightful analysis and her use of broad context. I like her initial thesis that Elizabeth presents a powerful model [...]

    3. Ted Lehmann on said:

      Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 400 pages, $27.00/12.99) is a dense and rewarding exploration of this remarkable English ruler who happened to be a woman. Elizabeth (1533-1603), Henry VIII's daughter by Anne Boleyn spent much of her life battling to establish and maintain herself as the ruler of a country divided by major issues of succession, religious conflict, and political threat from larger, richer countries Spain and France. Machiavelli's semi [...]

    4. Jesse Weinberger on said:

      Phenomenally well written non-fiction study of Queen Elizabeth I. If you're a fan of Tudor history - you must add this to your TBR list. Hilton closely looks at Elizabeth's life from before her birth (via the battle between Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn) to her death and after.

    5. Mary Louise on said:

      This book could have used a better editor. So many errors some of which could have been easily corrected. Disappointed. I skimmed the last portion of the book.

    6. Carolina Casas on said:

      An objective, well written biography that explores the lesser known aspects of Elizabeth’s life, from her education, her relationship with her father, siblings and her eventual rivalry with Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots, to the last years of her reign, and people’s perception of her during and in the aftermath of her death.Elizabeth I is glorified in English history as the greatest monarch that ever lived. Not only that, but she has accolade of fans who -in their attempt to defend her- end [...]

    7. Tim Lake on said:

      Thoroughly enjoyed it.If you like history of the monarchy, you will too.

    8. Dan Hansen on said:

      This book is better than the rating of three I have given it. It is well written, interesting, and comprehensive. The author supports her biography with direct references from original sources and does so gracefully; her use of her sources support and enhance the story of Elizabeth's life.She has a theme (Elizabeth as Machiavellian Prince). I am fine with this. It adds an interesting flavor and it gives you something to think on as the biography plays out as it must and did. I should add that I [...]

    9. Biblio Files (takingadayoff) on said:

      "What? The Queen is a Woman?" An old woman, watching Elizabeth pass by on progress, expressed astonishment that the queen was, in fact, a woman. Well, that's the story anyway. It illustrates the differences in attitude of the time and perhaps even the idea that the monarch was removed from even being a man pr a woman at all.I'm a fan of Elizabeth I biographies. It's a familiar story that's fun to revisit and usually any new biography will have a few new facts to reveal or a slightly different wa [...]

    10. Sandra Guerfi on said:

      Elizabeth I was Queen of England for 44 years and has been labelled everything from a weak woman led by her council to a bitter, jealous heretic and tyrant whose vanity led her to demand constant attention from her courtiers despite refusing suitor after suitor for her hand. She could be paranoid and often seemed incapable of reaching decisions in a timely manner or at times even reversing them all together. What Lisa Hilton's book shows us though is that not all was as it seemed. Indeed though [...]

    11. Meg - A Bookish Affair on said:

      "Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince" is a new biography about Queen Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch. Elizabeth I is remembered throughout history as a very powerful ruler and she's also known for potentially having been a virgin queen. The details of her virginity are debated amongst historians. She never married. This author doesn't do well on that instead she shows how Elizabeth was able to almost bend her gender in order to rule her country. Elizabeth I was focused on the way that she was seen [...]

    12. Patty on said:

      Elizabeth I was a fascinating woman and her life and reign have provided the fodder for many a novel, movie and tome almost since she died it seems – well not the movies. They are more recent. I have done a fair amount of reading with Elizabeth at the center, both fiction and non fiction so when presented with the opportunity to read a new book chronicling her life I was very excited.This new book by Ms. Hilton presents Elizabeth not as a princess but rather as a prince positing that her upbri [...]

    13. Victoria Johnston on said:

      A well written account of the life of Elizabeth I, the only issue with this book is that it doesn't really tell us anything we don't already know. This is not a book which really breaks any new ground on her life but rather analyses the extent to which she ruled as a Renaissance Prince rather than a female. In that respect the book is successful, we get a sense of the importance of portraying Elizabeth as a ruler even more effective than her father, nit hindered by the limits of her sex. But we [...]

    14. Christian on said:

      Given the staggering number of biographies of Elizabeth I and histories of the Tudor period more generally, one would have thought there was nothing particularly new or interesting to say on this subject. Quite the contrary. Lisa Hilton, instead of the usual cradle to grave chronology of her subject, examines various aspects of her life and the various influences upon it through the lens of the lessons of Machiavelli's The Prince. While she may not have read the book, the author contends that sh [...]

    15. V.E. Lynne on said:

      Out of all the books I have read on Elizabeth I this one would have to be the most unusual, and the most challenging, that I've ever picked up. 'Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince' approaches the Tudor queen's reign from the perspective of the works of Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli (among others) and it is their theories, and beliefs, that form the prism through which we see Elizabeth. Hilton also puts great emphasis upon, and discusses at length, the difference between the 'body politic' and the 'bo [...]

    16. Judith_Rex on said:

      This is the second book I have read recently that dares to question the bigoted history that has been served up as truth for several hundred years by those who wish to keep the status quo in tight control. I really admire Elizabeth I for holding on to her throne with such sheer ruthlessness, but really hate that so much of it came at the expense of other women and other religions.cluding her sister's, whom she copied and no doubt plotted against (says this refreshing book). This is a history boo [...]

    17. Clarissa on said:

      I seldom read biographies anymore. Not because they don't interest me but because they read like a long, overdone thesis. However, I was very pleased with this one because Elizabeth I is one of my favorite women in history. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant but I am glad that I took the leap. This is a biography that reads almost like a novel. it doesn't feel like a history major is barking out facts and demanding that you accept them because they say so. No, this gave us a look at Her Majesty [...]

    18. Troy Taylor on said:

      The author stated that she was examining Elizabeth against the standards of a Renaissance prince. In the main, she accomplished that, providing a portrait that was neither flattering nor hyper-critical. Interestingly, Phillip of Spain, usually portrayed as the villain of Elizabeth's tale, comes across fairly sympathetic. Elizabeth's own tyrannical leanings, especially her administration's persecution of Catholics, are not condemned, merely stated as fact. What the author found difficult in squar [...]

    19. Simon Mcleish on said:

      Biography of Elizabeth I which concentrates on the way in which the famous English queen presented herself as a ruler, with special reference to contemporary ideas of how princes should act (drawn particularly from Machiavelli and Castiglione). Generally an entertaining read, and with some interesting insights (for example, an explanation of why she hesitated so long before signing the execution warrant for Mary Queen of Scots). However, I found there to be a lot of irritating small issues, whic [...]

    20. Daniel Kukwa on said:

      It's an engrossing & easy-to-read biography, but I still find it frustrating. The thesis that Elizabeth was an embodiment of the Renaissance Prince, and promulgated by Machiavelli, makes for fascinating speculation. But I find that this biography too often goes for implicit rather than explicit analysis, which results in rambling passages that could be more concise and straightforward. It also ends rather poetically and enigmaticallywhen I would have preferred a final overview and judgement [...]

    21. Jarrett on said:

      Hilton shows the woman behind the legendary monarch, and uses impressive deduction and close reading of primary sources to come to startlingly new conclusions about Elizabeth's motivations, education, fears, self-image, relationships, and priorities during her reign. From her mystical power rooted in appropriating Richard II's "virgin" iconography, through her careful balancing of her "body politic" against her "body natural", to Elizabeth's careful cultivation of her "Gloriana" image, this is h [...]

    22. Elizabeth Judd Taylor on said:

      Probably more of a 4.5 rating (please let us give half ratings!)Anywaya very good study of how gender, at least in the case of rulers, was not an idea set in stone in the way we think of it today, this is a study of Elizabeth as ruler and prince. The author makes a convincing case for the idea that it is more modern historians who like to think of Elizabeth's gender as a problem or a hindrance, whereas in her day and age her royal lineage meant she could rule as a prince and not a "mere female." [...]

    23. Jennifer on said:

      I wanted to like this book; it's about Elizabeth, after all. I found this book virtually unreadable. The author went on tangents that had minimal connection to the topic introduced in the beginning of the chapter. The tangents jumped through time and geographical location, making some of the points very difficult to follow. The author also did not consistently use the same names for the figures in the book (i.e. Cecil/Burghley); making me have to go back and re-read to make sure I didn't miss so [...]

    24. Helene Harrison on said:

      Review - This is an excellent biography of Elizabeth and her reign. It goes into great detail on the events that shaped the Elizabethan age, like the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the rebellion of the Earl of Essex in 1601, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587 and the death of Amy Robsart in 1560. It is very comprehensive, if a little dry in places. It has obviously been thoroughly researched, and the cover image grabbed me because it's not one of the usual images seen of Elizabe [...]

    25. Jennifer Kurowski on said:

      Worth reading but not astounding. I've read quite a few books on Elizabeth I and found very little that was "new" in this one. I know it's touted as being somehow very different from the othersbut it didn't seem surprising to me to consider that Elizabeth saw herself as a Prince, or as a proponent of Machiavellian statecraft. Perhaps no other author has spent an entire book putting those thoughts forward, but surely they've been covered. The author's style is less engaging than, say, Allison Wei [...]

    26. Lezley on said:

      An interesting book and well worth reading even after reading several biographies about Elizabeth I. Hilton portrays Elizabeth I as a ruling Prince and examines her diplomatic foreign relations, her paramours and the never-ending conspiracies against the Crown that were bubbling to the surface throughout her reign. Mary, Queen of Scots was a thorn in her side that never let up. Elizabeth was the ultimate diplomat inspired by a love for her people.

    27. Beth on said:

      This book looks at Elizabeth in the light of being a Renaissance "Prince", a consummate politician who played to her audience and who put her femininity to good use, as needed, to achieve the ends she required. She created herself for her audience.Elizabeth has long been one of my favourite historical characters and it's always interesting seeing her through a different lens. It took me awhile to get through, but I may not have been in the mood for it at the start.

    28. Jim Dewar on said:

      Would have been a much better book had not the author, Ms. Lisa Hilton, decided to preach her liberal gospel snuggly wrapped within the context of her historical surmises. For those of you who relish your left political leanings, you will probably enjoy this.For one example, read the reference to FOX News on page 116 (hardback) in chapter 4.Queen Elizabeth I deserves much better.

    29. Melissa on said:

      A solid new entry in the study of Elizabeth I. With an emphasis on Elizabeth as ruler and how she fit in with the other monarchs of the time, Hilton puts new emphasis on certain actions and decisions and provides a different perspective than many of the past entries in this field.

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