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The Virgin Queen's Daughter

I started reading this book because it was a suggestion from someone else, but I was thrilled to find out as I read that the book was about Elizabeth I, or the end of the Tudor bloodline. Since I was totally obsessed with the show Tudors at the time I was reading this I had a little bit of extra information that helped me with the book. In Ella March Chase's The Virgin Queen's Daughter the main character is Nell de Lacy, a young woman obsessed with knowledge. As a child she meets (then) Princess Elizabeth and has a very profound impact on her future. What Nell doesn't know is how closely Elizabeth is related to her.

Nell hears many stories about Queen Elizabeth's ladies. They are said to be intelligent women who give the men in their circle a lot to discuss. Since Nell has always been encouraged by her father to learn more she thinks she will fit in with these women perfectly. Nell's mother, however, is not keen on Nell's desires to join Elizabeth's court. Her mother was a lady-in-waiting to Katherine Parr and claims that Nell does not know what she is getting into. She believes the court is dangerous and she prefers Nell to stay with her. When Queen Elizabeth summons Nell though, her mother is left with little choice.

Once Nell becomes a lady-in-waiting the story becomes more of a mystery. This was fine, but I would have liked to hear more about the women in Queen Elizabeth's court. I got a great sense of who Elizabeth was and how she acted, but not really in relation to other women. I will also say that this novel is taking a great deal of liberties with Queen Elizabeth's life. You can read more about that at the end of the novel should you choose to read it. It is by no means a blow by blow historical account.

Still, I liked this book. Quite a bit. In fact, I think it is one of my favorite historical fiction novels. True I liked the beginning more than the end, and some of the story is sketch. But... this is the first historical fiction book I have underlined in. It was so well done in respect to the meanings of motherhood and womanhood during the Tudor reign. And Nell, even though she is a little different, represents of lot of concerns for women at the time. Such as unwanted children, the inability to have children, marriage, love, romance. Can we have it all?

This novel earned a B.

Pub. Date: December 2009
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Format: Paperback, 368 pp

I read this book as part of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.

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