Leanda de Lisle

In My Ladies’ Chambers

Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen


Jonathan Cape 404pp £20 order from our bookshop

Elizabeth I valued female company. She loved childhood servants such as Kat Ashley, and as Queen surrounded herself with indulged, non-royal Boleyn cousins. They might have offered an alternative narrative to that of the disgraced dead mother and the extended sisterhood of royal relatives plotting against each other. But there was no escape for Elizabeth from the central issue of the Tudor succession into which she was born. 

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