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01 June 2017

Rambling About.. Elizabeth, The Witch's Daughter by Lynda M Andrews

If you've been around me at all, it likely doesn't shock you to be told that I'm a ginormous anglophile. I frequently lament being born on the wrong side of the pond and have already informed my son that his life goal should be to get a good enough job to be able to send me on a cruise across the Atlantic. You probably have also figured out already that I'm a bit of a history nerd .... but ....

I kind of feel like I need to hang my head in shame for a moment or two.

When it comes to English history? I've only ever really paid attention to anything pre-1400s and post-1700s. I'm not quite sure how, but I've pretty much skipped 300 years of anything more than just basic knowledge.

Lynda M. Andrews is changing that, though, with Elizabeth, The Witch's Daughter. I knew (thanks to my basic knowledge) about Elizabeth I being "The Virgin Queen" and the daughter of Henry VIII. I knew he went through wives like some monarchs went through ... well ... not toilet paper because that's only been around since the mid- to late-1800s. You know what I mean, though. It was fascinating for me to get a glimpse into what her life might have been like growing up with a distant father and a revolving door of stepmothers after her own mother had been killed when she was just a toddler. She went from being told that the was a princess and would some day be Queen to a subject much like any other -- under the rule of her own half-brother and then her half-sister. She went from feeling in control and cherished to scrutinized and threatened. The poor girl was on a roller-coaster before they even existed!

I quite fell for Bess. She felt fiercely independent because she had to be and, at the same time, had a deep longing to have someone she could depend on as she probably would have been able to depend on her mother under normal circumstances. She did have Kat Ashley, her governess and companion for much of her early life, and that relationship was a joy to read .... most of the time. Any relationship Elizabeth had with anyone was bound to be rocky since she had such enormous trust issues and, as Kat pointed out on several occasions, she was definitely her father's daughter when it came to stubbornness and temper.

Really, my only complaint about this book is that I flew through it far too quickly. Granted, even if it was twice as long I'd still probably feel like it was too short. It's okay, though, because now I feel like I have to catch up on the missing 300 years worth of England's history via books, movies, and television series. It'll be the gift that keeps on giving.

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