Books

Book Review – Young Elizabeth by Kate Williams

July 5, 2016

I’ve always had an interest in royal history, looking back on our monarchy gives us a wonderful snap shot of the past. It is a great starting point for looking at how England has changed and the people who have shaped it and influenced it, right up to present day. I have read a huge amount about the Georgian era, as it has always been a time that I find fascinating. I have however never read any books on our current Queen, so Kate Williams’ book on Elizabeth’s early life seemed like a great place to start.

Young Elizabeth by Kate Williams ReviewA few years ago I read Kate Williams’ book on the early life of Queen Victoria, which is one of my favourite books ever. I learned so much from it and as a result of reading it and being absolutely fascinated, I went on to visit so many interesting places and read a lot more books to find out more.

Young Elizabeth by Kate WilliamsRecently when I found myself stuck for something to read I picked up Young Elizabeth. It was a great choice, especially because I’ve been reading a lot about the 20s and 30s lately and as this period and it’s events feature heavily in the book, it really helped to set the scene for me.

Young Elizabeth Book ReviewElizabeth’s childhood is interesting because until her uncles abdication her father and she herself had never been expected to reign, making the build up to her becoming queen all the more intriguing to read about.

Young Elizabeth BookThe book covers her family background, her childhood and early adulthood, right up to the point where she becomes Queen. It makes for very interesting reading and there was so much I didn’t know. The fact that the book covers a relatively short period of time in historical terms, means that the writer can really go into depth when discussing Elizabeth’s early life. The details are so interesting and I found myself every bit as engaged as when I read about Victoria a few years earlier.

Young Elizabeth Kate Williams Book ReviewWilliams’ writing style is fantastic, I found myself totally absorbed in every page. The historical facts flow off the page and are as easy to read as a novel, I really couldn’t put it down and got this one finished in record time.

As well as the obvious fascination with learning more about the life of a living monarch, the book works it’s way through the significant events that shaped the first half of the twentieth century. Through four monarchs and two world wars and tempestuous social changes, this is such an interesting era to read about.

Young Elizabeth by kate Williams Book ReviewAs usual I won’t discuss the content of the book too much as I want people to go and read it and discover everything for themselves, but I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in both social and royal history, or if you just want to know what the queen was like before she was the old lady that I’ve associated with the monarchy my entire lifetime.

Buy the book on Amazon here.

I hope you enjoyed todays book review. I’ve been reading loads lately and I’m hoping to make reviews a regular thing, just like I used to when I first started blogging a few years ago. Let me know if you have any book recommendations.

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  • Reply
    swiveltam
    July 5, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’m always looking for good, historical books! The pictures look awesome, too.

  • Reply
    Mim McDonald (@crinolinerobot)
    July 7, 2016 at 8:25 am

    It’s hard to imagine the change the abdication must have made to her life – to have gone from a girl expected to do little more than make a decent marriage, to one destined to rule an empire. She must be one tough cookie to have handled it all!

  • Reply
    Jessica Cangiano
    July 7, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Thank you very much for the lovely review. I’ve always been strongly interested in royal history, too, and enjoy learning about present day monarchs nearly much as those from the past (surely that must stem at least in part from having grown up in a Commonwealth country :)).

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  • Reply
    Gill Hart
    July 11, 2016 at 9:48 am

    You might like Tracy Borman, a very good historian who is Chief Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces and writes very readable history – including on ‘Matilda’ (wife of William the Conqueror) Henrietta Howard (mistress of George II) – book called ‘King’s Mistress, Queen’s Servant’ and ‘Elizabeth’s Women’ among others. I’ll look out for the Elizabeth book at work! Love to share recommendations.

    • Reply
      vintagefrills
      July 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Great suggestion. Tracy Borman is one of my brothers bosses, he’s a curator at HRP, but I’ve never read any of her stuff. Will take a look. Xxx

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