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The Virgin Elizabeth

A Novel

Published by Arcade
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

A book of passion, of sixteenth-century England, of greed and political ambition unto death. Historians and novelists have written extensively about the various aspects of Queen Elizabeth I’s long, rich, and tumultuous life. No one has ever given us a fully realized portrait of the greatest English monarch as a young girl. Concluding her brilliant Tudor trilogy, Robin Maxwell enters this new territory by introducing Elizabeth as a romantic and vulnerable teenager dangerously awakening to sexuality with the wrong man. Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was banished from the court at the age of two when her father sent Anne Boleyn to her death. Seven years later, when the gracious and immensely wealthy Catherine Parr became Henry’s sixth wife, she softened the King’s heart and Elizabeth was readmitted to the court. For the next four years the young princess enjoyed a warm friendship with Catherine and a new sense of belonging.  

In 1547, Great Harry is dead, and Elizabeth’s nine-year-old brother Edward VI is king in name only. Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, has boldly named himself Lord Protector and effectively seized power. Meanwhile the duke’s equally ambitious brother Thomas, realizing he cannot wrest control directly, has deployed his greatest talent—his charm and sexual magnetism—to utmost effect by persuading Henry’s widow Catherine to marry him. His real goal, however, is the late king’s daughter: Elizabeth herself. And so the game begins, one with rules that only reckless, amoral Thomas Seymour understands. Into this intrigue are drawn both those who love Elizabeth and those who wish her ill. In order to escape certain doom and achieve independence, Elizabeth must stand alone.

Robin Maxwell began writing novels about the historical figures she had been obsessing about since graduating from Tufts University with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Her bestselling first novel The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn,  won two YA awards and has been translated into fourteen languages. The Wild Irish —an epic tale of Ireland's rebel queen, Grace O'Malley—closed out her Elizabethan Quartet and is now in development for a television series. Signora Da Vinci and Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan are tales of the remarkable women behind two of the world's most beloved wildmen, Maestro Leonardo and Lord Greystoke. Robin lives with her husband of forty years, yogi Max Thomas, at High Desert Eden, a wildlife sanctuary in the Mojave Desert.

A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

"Tense, absorbing, highly entertaining."—Library Journal

“An intriguing slice of Elizabethan history.”—Publishers Weekly

"Fascinating and historically accurate."—Kirkus Reviews

"I’m beginning to see Elizabeth with a new respect because of this author. . . . In fact, of all the books I’ve read on Elizabeth, Maxwell’s are among my favorites. She just has a way of making her human and likable. She has her faults, but she’s also unmistakably regal and wise. . . . Hands down Robin Maxwell wins when it comes to making a fair and interesting characterization of Queen Elizabeth I."—Historical-fiction.com

More books from this author: Robin Maxwell