Elizabeth I

Ruler and Legend
Author: Clark Hulse
Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Elizabeth I ‘s reign this history tells the story of her life and reign using artifacts from her life--books, pamphlets, letters, paintings, maps and more.
Cloth – $95
Paper – $27.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/2003
Cloth: 12/29/2003
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About the Book

Making history from the moment of her birth, England's Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was a legend within her own lifetime. To her supporters, Elizabeth I was Gloriana, the Faerie Queene, a dignified and powerful woman who ruled with cunning and skill for forty-four years. To her detractors she was the ruthless supporter of a false religion; the murderer of her cousin Mary Queen of Scots; a wanton woman, herself illegitimate, who sullied the crown with her licentious behavior.

The legends that have grown up around Elizabeth are fascinating, but as this book shows, the truth is just as remarkable. In Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend, Clark Hulse brings Elizabeth to life, combining text and images to tell her story through the objects handed down by history.

Commemorating the four hundredth anniversary of Elizabeth's death, this handsome volume contains over one hundred photographs of books, manuscripts, maps, letters, paintings, clothing, furniture, and many more artifacts dating from her reign. Each of these objects tells a story, and Hulse uses them as a starting point for a broad and thorough examination of Elizabeth and the society in which she lived.

Beginning with an analysis of the political events surrounding her birth, the book describes Elizabeth's relationship with her father, Henry VIII, and the maneuvering that led to her eventual coronation upon the death of her half-sister Mary Tudor in 1558.

As queen, Elizabeth oversaw a period of breathtaking cultural achievement. She kept England from being torn apart by the religious wars raging across Europe, and she withstood both an assassination plot and the massive military threat of the Spanish Armada. This book addresses all these major events, as well as a whole host of lesser-known aspects of Elizabeth's reign.

Hulse includes discussions of topics such as the education of Tudor women; markers of identity; portraits of Elizabeth; the queen's speaking style; her interest in America; music at the Tudor court; and literary depictions of Elizabeth by Shakespeare, Spenser, and other poets.


"We cannot get enough of Queen Elizabeth I. For four centuries her image---a blend of courage, vanity, power, and fathomless cunning---has exercised an almost unique fascination. Clark Hulse's lively and learned catalogue places the emphasis exactly where it belongs: on Elizabeth's lifelong fashioning of her own legend. Her rule, and, as she well understood, her survival depended upon her ability to control her representations. Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend provides a generous sampling of these representations and allows us to gaze upon her with wonder." --- Stephen Greenblatt, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University