Afbeelding van de auteur.

Sarah Gristwood

Auteur van Arbella: England's Lost Queen

18 Werken 1,659 Leden 40 Besprekingen Favoriet van 1 leden

Over de Auteur

Biographer and journalist Sarah Gristwood attended Oxford University and is the author of seven books, including the best-selling Arbella and Elizabeth and Leicester. She lives in London and Kent.

Bevat de naam: Sarah Gristwood

Werken van Sarah Gristwood


Algemene kennis

Gangbare naam
Gristwood, Sarah
Kent, England, UK
London, England, UK
Kent, England, UK
Oxford University (St. Anne's College)
Malcolm, Derek (husband|1994|his death|2023)
Prijzen en onderscheidingen
Fellow, Royal Historical Society
Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
Araminta Whitley (Lucas Alexander Whitley)
Korte biografie
After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood began work as a journalist, writing at first about the theatre as well as general features on everything from gun control to Giorgio Armani. But increasingly she found herself specializing in film interviews. Her work has appeared in most of the UK's leading newspapers and magazines.

Turning to history, she wrote two bestselling Tudor biographies, Arbella: England’s Lost Queen and Elizabeth and Leicester; and the 18th-century story Perdita: Royal Mistress, Writer, Romantic, which was selected as Radio 4 Book of the Week. Presenting and contributing to several radio and tv documentaries, she also published a book on iconic dresses, Fabulous Frocks (with Jane Eastoe); and a 50th anniversary companion to the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as collaborating with Tracy Borman, Alison Weir and Kate Williams on The Ring and the Crown, a book on the history of royal weddings. 2011 also saw the publication of her first historical novel, The Girl in the Mirror. In September 2012 she brought out a new nonfiction book -- Blood Sisters: The Women behind the Wars of the Roses.
She and her husband, film critic Derek Malcolm, live in London and Kent.



2.75 stars

Arbella Stuart was the great-granddaughter of Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII’s oldest sister). She should have been a possibility to be queen, but was bypassed. Both Elizabeth I and James I kept her at bay, and wouldn’t even allow her to marry (in the line of succession, you need permission to marry since they will likely want a politically advantageous marriage). Eventually, she just gave up and chose who she wanted to marry and married in secret (to the great-great-grandson of Mary Tudor (Henry VIII’s youngest sister)). It wasn’t long before they were found out and imprisoned.

This was nonfiction and felt a bit dense through much of it. As I tend to often mention in my reviews of historical biographies of women, even if they were royalty, there often seems to be little information on them, so much of the “action” is actually what’s taking place around them. Arbella’s marriage and attempt to escape the Tower were the most interesting part (and likely where there was the most information to use for this biography). I feel like a fictional account of her life might make things a bit more interesting.
… (meer)
LibraryCin | 12 andere besprekingen | Mar 22, 2024 |
This biography covers a period of history I know far less about than the preceding Tudor period, although as a young girl, Arbella lived in the fading years of Elizabeth's reign. The problem with the book is that little is known of her until her strange attempt in her late teens to break out of her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick's control, by arranging a marriage between herself and a relative, at which point she was interrogated by an emissary of the Queen's council and wrote a series of hysterical and rambling letters. The author puts forward the theory that Arbella suffered from porphyria, the same disease which induced periods of 'madness' in the later George III, and that this is to blame for her irrational behaviour at various times in her life.

After the accession of her cousin James VI of Scotland to the English throne as James I, things improved for Arbella who became a lady-in-weighting to his wife Ann of Denmark. But life in the court had many perils and was also horrendously expensive, a point the author makes well. As time went on, Arbella, ageing especially in 17th century terms, sought to marry but as a near relative to the royal family was thwarted by political concerns, and this eventually lead to tragedy. The book concludes with an epilogue which follows the fortunes of the other actors in the drama, and also more tenuously traces her influence - the character in The Duchess of Malfi may be based upon her and one of the ships taking the colonists to North America was named the Arbella.

The problem I found was that I found the book quite boring in places and a chore to finish. I was interested though that, contrary to a lot of penmanship of the time and preceding, which was done in a very ornate and, for modern readers, difficult to read style, Arbella's was easy by comparison - I could make out nearly every word in a reproduced example. The author comments on this but does not attempt to explain it. So all in all, I would rate this an OK 2 stars only.
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kitsune_reader | 12 andere besprekingen | Nov 23, 2023 |
Difficult to follow, at first. Primary source details on Marguerite of Anjou, Cecily Neville, Margaret of Burgundy, Margaret Beaufort. John Leland.
Smoscoso | 5 andere besprekingen | Oct 15, 2023 |
Excerpt from a longer article:

Timely Take-aways for life-long Learners: Modern European History: A Fresh Look
Several new works of nonfiction provide fresh insights into early modern and modern European history. Beyond the violence and wars, these books examine the period through archaeology, political actions, and the roles of women.

The Tudors in Love:
Passion and Politics in the Age of England’s Most Famous Dynasty
Sarah Gristwood, Dec 2022, St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan
Themes: History, Europe, Great Britain, Tudor & Elizabethan Era (1485-1603)
Romantic courtly love played a key role in politics and international diplomacy during the Tudor dynasty. Sarah Gristwood takes readers through the drama and obsessions that shaped the era.
Take-aways: Teens love drama. Use Gristwood’s captivating history to bring this period alive for students.

Whether helping educators keep up-to-date in their subject-areas, promoting student reading in the content-areas, or simply encouraging nonfiction leisure reading, teacher librarians need to be aware of the best new titles across the curriculum and how to activate life-long learning. - Annette Lamb
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eduscapes | Apr 11, 2023 |


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