Elizabeth I by Christopher Haigh

Elizabeth I by Christopher Haigh is the second book I read by him, first being English Reformations (see review linked at the end of the post). He says that this book is not a biography as it deals with different aspects of her reign, but I’ve included it in the biographies as it seems easier to find and it was also how the Tutor categorized it.

Elizabeth I by C Haigh

I mentioned that Haigh is analysing Elizabeth’s reign on topics, starting with the succession (as in hers), the church, the nobility, the council, the court, the parliament, the military, and the people. He mentions at the end of the book that is ‘almost impossible to write a balanced study of Elizabeth I. The historiographical tradition is so laudatory that it is hard to avoid either floating with the current of applauding opinion or creating an unseemly splash by swimming too energetically agaist it’. He is not one of those who applaud Elizabeth and this is why his work is so important. In other books, the less than savoury details (including a book I finished recently) are brushed away, not mentioned because it would “ruin” the whole picture of Elizabeth. Although his book is not too critical and his views are, in my opinion, more balanced because they show a bigger picture than other books about Elizabeth.

Elizabeth I by Christopher Haigh

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Longman Publishing
Year it was published: 1998 (first published in 1988)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History
Pages: 209

About the author: Christopher Haigh studied at Churchill College, Cambridge and the University of Manchester. He was a Tutor in Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford and University Lecturer at Oxford University. As a historian, he specialized in religion and politics around the English Reformation. He retired in 2009.
Books by Christopher Haigh: English Reformations; The Reign of Elizabeth I; Elizabeth I; Reformation and Resistance in Tudor Lancashire; England of Elizabeth: The Structure of Society
Website & Social Media Links: –

1 thought on “Elizabeth I by Christopher Haigh”

  • I think it’s good when historians can write about the negative aspects of a popular figure without coming across as too critical. After all, no one is/was perfect and all sides should be presented fairly.

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