Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Review for Elizabeth and Mary Cousins, Rivals Queens by Jane Dunn
Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (January 6, 2004)
Synopsis from Barnes and Noble.com
The political and religious conflicts between Queen Elizabeth I and the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots, have for centuries captured our imagination and inspired memorable dramas played out on stage, screen, and in opera. But few books have brought to life more vividly than Jane Dunn’s Elizabeth and Mary the exquisite texture of two women’s rivalry, spurred on by the ambitions and machinations of the forceful men who surrounded them. The drama has terrific resonance even now as women continue to struggle in their bid for executive power.Against the backdrop of sixteenth-century England, Scotland, and France, Dunn paints portraits of a pair of protagonists whose formidable strengths were placed in relentless opposition. Protestant Elizabeth, the bastard daughter of Anne Boleyn, whose legitimacy had to be vouchsafed by legal means, glowed with executive ability and a visionary energy as bright as her red hair. Mary, the Catholic successor whom England’s rivals wished to see on the throne, was charming, feminine, and deeply persuasive. That two such women, queens in their own right, should have been contemporaries and neighbours sets in motion a joint biography of rare spark and page-turning power.
I listened to the abridged version of this book. It did not feel like I was missing a lot. It gave me the meat and potatoes of the story.
The narrator's voice was very suitable for this genre. So it was very interesting. The narrator seem really into what she was saying. The CD were about an hour long each. So you are roughly listening to 8 hours of material.
The author seemed well -researched in her topic. Her writing style seemed more like a novelist than a boring dry historian. It will definitely keep your attention.
I would recommend it to any who has the love of Tudor England and of course the infamous Mary Stuart.
I rate this a 4/5