Flashback Friday: The Royal Diaries Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor

by Kathryn Lasky

Since I just finished a book about the War of the Roses, I decided it was fitting to look at my early reading of the next era of English history. This is the book that spurred my obsession with all things Tudor. This is one of the oldest books on my shelf that I refuse to weed. Even if I haven’t reread it in a long time, it has a lot of sentimental value.  I also still sometimes use the brief biography in the back if I need a quick fact for a project, before consulting a heavier source.

What I remember from this book: Hatfield, Elizabeth doing translations, Elizabeth attempting to save Henry VIII and Kathryn Parr’s marriage, playing with Edward, Mary being a bit of a butt as usual, the story of Anne Boleyn on the eve of her arrest pleading with the king by holding up a baby Elizabeth, cameo by Anne of Cleves, the kids being convinced that Kathryn Howard haunts a hallway (they leave out the probably guilty of adultery part of Kathryn and focus on her relation to Anne),and finally Elizabeth and Robert Dudley.

This may have been the book that inadvertently started shipping for me. When I learned that Elizabeth and Robert Dudley did not end up together I was irate. Granted, politically this was probably never a thing. But at the time these royal diaries books were basically real life fairy tales and I wanted my happily ever after. I’m sure Lasky took some liberties with their relationship. Yet, when I learned years later that Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley were imprisoned at the Tower of London at the same time, I allowed my mind to dream of possibilities.

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