The first volume of Alison Plowden's “Elizabethan Quartet” focuses on the first 25 years of Elizabeth's life and successfully brings to life the young Elizabeth Tudor during the years when her life held no promises, when death seemed almost inevitable, up through her coronation. This is a non-fiction work and one I found both comprehensive and engaging. Alison Plowden has a wonderfully engaging style which in turn offers her readers a peppy read.
Plowden is careful to label any conjecture and possibilities as such and before long this reader felt comfortable trusting Plowden to uncover and reveal information without distortion, which is not an unremarkable accomplishment in itself. Plowden offers her reader a very straightforward interpretation of the historical record and successfully presents many counter arguments of long held historical assumptions convincingly.
In The Young Elizabeth, Plowden examines the forces which shaped Elizabeth’s personality during this formative period in her life. During these important years Elizabeth knew very little security and her life was marked by loss, fear and suspicion. The reader is able to see, however; how these years gave Elizabeth a more rounded world view and were the foundation of Elizabeth’s personality and a huge contributor to her success as a Monarch of moderation.