Elizabeth I by Wallace MacCaffrey

Elizabeth I by Wallace MacCaffrey is an extensive biography. At over 400 pages, the book is not exactly short, but it does make for an easy read. He starts from her childhood and goes all over until her death. I made a lot of notes from this book and I will use them for my essay.

Elizabeth I by Wallace MacCaffrey

The book flows nicely and it is not dry, for an academic book. The only thing I imagine it would be off putting for a general reader would be the size. There are shorter and just as relevant books about Elizabeth I. If you want to know more about her reign and go into more details, I would recommend it.

As usual when it comes to Elizabeth I, there are a few things I didn’t like in the book. Most of it is me nitpicking, but it annoyed me enough to give the book 4 stars instead of 5. For example, he commends her for not overspending in war times. While he is right, she didn’t pay her troops, see Elizabeth: the forgotten years. I am constantly refraining myself from judging a book with today’s views when the book was written over decades ago, but, at the same time, the Gloriana propaganda needs a bit of reconsideration. She was a female monarch in the 16th century, who kept her crown for over four decades and that in itself is an amazingly impressive achievement, but she was far from perfect. If we wouldn’t suggest saving money by stopping paying the troops deployed in places like Afghanistan, maybe we shouldn’t praise Elizabeth for saving money by not paying the soldiers fighting the Armada in 1588. I think we should abstain from judgements and praises as much as we can, and just analyse what happened.

Elizabeth I by Wallace MacCaffrey

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Hodded Headline Group
Year it was published: 2004 (first edition was published in 1993)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Biography
Pages: 496

About the author: Some of the books by Wallace MacCaffrey: The Shaping of the Elizabethan Regime; Exeter, 1540-1640: The Growth Of An English County Town; Elizabeth I: War and Politics, 1588-1603.
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