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Death and the Virgin Queen : Elizabeth I and the dark scandal that rocked the th
Skidmore, Chris
Adult Nonfiction DA355 .S55 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In 1560 Amy Robsart, the wife of Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I's favorite courtier, was found dead at the foot of a staircase with a broken neck, resulting in rumors that Robert had killed her in order to marry the queen, rumors that circulated even after a jury voted the death accidental. As Amy was of inferior social rank, the 10-year marriage was likely a love match. The couple were childless and often apart for months, and Amy's constant absence from court fueled speculation she suffered from breast cancer or some other illness. Skidmore (Edward VI) rejects the theory that Amy committed suicide but speculates that she fell from a short flight of stairs because of high levels of calcium in her blood due to cancer. Skidmore even considers the possibility that Dudley's servants, without their master's knowledge, slowly poisoned her, and finally resorted to breaking her neck. As Skidmore mines Robert's correspondence, the coroner's report on Amy, and ambassadors' dispatches, Tudor England in all its rich complexity springs to vivid life in a tantalizing, authoritative, and in-depth analysis of a centuries-old mystery that continues to stir imaginations. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The relationship between Elizabeth I and her favorite courtier, Lord Robert Dudley, was one of the more infamous aspects of Elizabeth's reign-and it became an even greater controversy when in 1560 Dudley's wife, Amy Robsart, was found dead at the bottom of a staircase, her neck broken. The strange circumstances provided fuel for speculation then and now: Was it an accident? Suicide? Or a murder arranged to leave Dudley free to marry the queen? Drawing extensively on historical documents, including the original coroner's report, only recently uncovered in the UK's National Archives, Skidmore (history, Bristol Univ.; Edward VI: The Lost King of England) not only examines the various theories surrounding these long-standing questions but also provides an in-depth look at how Amy's death and Elizabeth and Dudley's relationship affected the early years of the Virgin Queen's reign. VERDICT Those hoping for an answer to this mystery will be disappointed, as Skidmore affirms that potential solutions rely too heavily on conjecture to be definitive. Nonetheless, owing to the wealth of detail, both academics and general readers with an interest in Tudor history will find much of interest.-Kathleen McCallister, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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