Queen of the Realm

Written by Jean Plaidy
Review by Carol Anne Germain

This is a fictionalized account of King Henry VIII’s daughter, Elizabeth I. Jean Plaidy, the queen of royalty novels in her own right, provides a voice for this intriguing woman. In a time when there were few female rulers, Elizabeth I reigned as one of the strongest monarchs in history. In this story she is rightfully portrayed as strong, intelligent, and aptly capable. By letting Elizabeth speak to the reader, we are also given insight into her domineering, forceful, and self-indulgent nature. Additionally, we get a glimpse of how extremely kind, generous, and loyal she was. In particular, we witness Elizabeth’s devotion and love for the subjects of her England. In this narrative, the author outlines the perils of her life and politics, and provides insight into the flirtations of this celebrated monarch.

While a short bibliography and discussion questions appear at the end of the text, by no means is this a heavy read. Certainly, this is a good fictional introduction to one the most famous female rulers of western civilization.