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Books

Elizabeth I, queen of the waiting game

A review of Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton argues that the queen’s true greatness lay in her inactivity and stalling tactics

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince Lisa Hilton

Weidenfeld, pp.370, £25, ISBN: 9780297865223

Women are ‘foolish, wanton flibbergibs, in every way doltified with the dregs of the devil’s dunghill’. So a cleric reminded Queen Elizabeth I. His sermon reassured her that her personal qualities made her exceptional. But Elizabeth was not merely an ‘exceptional woman’, snorts Lisa Hilton. She was also ‘an exceptional ruler’ — one who refashioned her kingdom as ‘a modern monarch, a Renaissance prince’.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £20 Tel: 08430 600033. Leanda de Lisle is the author of After Elizabeth, The Sisters Who Would Be Queen and Tudor: The Family Story.

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