Four centuries after her death, Elizabeth I remains a powerful and fascinating figure.
Succeeding to the English throne in 1558, she was the third woman monarch in the nation’s history. The role of English monarch—which involved being commander in chief, head of the English Church, and ruler of the royal court, with all its intrigues—was intended for a man ruling among men, and women rulers before Elizabeth had bestowed their power on husbands. Resisting this pattern, Elizabeth not only endured a monarch but flourished as a leader and cultural figurehead, inspiring the Golden Age of English literature, the Age of Discovery, and the Age of Reformation in English religious life.
This Norton Critical Edition provides a diverse and extensive selection of authors (including the Queen herself) and carefully annotated works. The works are organized chronologically to cover the forty-four years of Elizabeth’s reign, allowing readers to explore not only the literary and aesthetic qualities that make these writings noteworthy but also the range of political, social, cultural, and historical concerns that prompted their creation.
The editors have assembled a rich, thematically organized collection of commentary and criticism for Elizabeth I and Her Age. From Raphael Holinshed’s, Sir Francis Bacon’s, and Agnes Strickland’s early accounts of the Queen to Natalie Mears on Elizabeth I’s strategies for rule and Thomas Betteridge on the Queen in film, the twenty-five diverse views of Elizabeth I herein are sure to promote lively classroom discussion.