Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne - David Starkey A very thorough examination of Elizabeth's formative years before gaining the throne that manages, for the most part, to avoid getting tangled up in all the titles and and descendants of various nobles. (No small task or easy feat. This has tripped up some other very good writers.) An intriguing read that only goes dry near the end, once Elizabeth is Queen and Starkey is wrapping up his narrative; it seems he lost interest as soon as the crown was on her head. Fair enough, as he states point-blank that this is not another history of her reign, and I feel it's unfair to expect something that the author makes very clear is not in the pages.

Points lost, however, for repeated "I" statements: "I think...", "I feel...", "I suspect..." These have no place in a factual history - period. It's not about you, dude.

Well worth the read, however, for anyone interested in Queen Elizabeth, the reigns of Henry VIII's three children, or general Tudor history.