This first novel supposes that Anne Boleyn, second wife to King Henry VIII of England, kept a secret diary that was delivered to her daughter, Elizabeth, upon her succession to the throne. Elizabeth was only three when Anne was renounced by Henry, tried for treason, and sentenced to death. Now, despite her queenly schedule, juggling affairs of state and heart, Elizabeth finds time to read her mother's story avidly and learns lessons that will secure her reign. It is an intriguing premise that knowledge of Anne's sad fate leads Elizabeth resolutely to defy the customs of her time and ignore her advisers' counsel and her suitors' pleas to marry. Remaining single and healthy, Elizabeth rules long and well. Filled with fascinating descriptions of court life and references to historical figures and events, this novel is highly recommended for fiction collections.?Sheila M. Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, D.C.
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