Table of Contents
ALSO BY MARGARET GEORGE
The Autobiography of Henry VIII
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles
The Memoirs of Cleopatra
Mary, Called Magdalene
Helen of Troy
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. â¢ Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) â¢ Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England â¢ Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) â¢ Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) â¢ Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhiâ110 017, India â¢ Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) â¢ Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in 2011 by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright Â© Margaret George, 2011 All rights reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Elizabeth I : a novel / Margaret George. p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47625-3
1. Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603âFiction. 2. Great BritainâHistoryâElizabeth, 1558-1603âFiction. 3. QueensâGreat BritainâFiction. I. Title.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
A loyal subject of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
Past and Present
THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
As always, familyâmy husband Paul, daughter Alison, son-in-law Robert, sister Rosemaryâwere supportive and helpful, and my agent Jacques de Spoelberch and editors Carolyn Carlson and Beena Kamlani made the book shine brighter after it came into their hands. I want to thank Professor William Aylward, Classics Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for his help in Latin translations, Dr. Mary Magray, Irish historian and lecturer, Department of Liberal Studies and the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for her knowledge and help with the intricacies of Irish history in Elizabeth's period, and my friend Miki Knezevic for thoughtful ideas about the characters. Dr. Lynn Courtenay and Dr. Nathaniel Alcock ferreted out the exact wording on the Dudley family tomb in Warwick, invaluable help for the story. My father, Scott George, first told me about Old Parr when he looked for his grave in Westminster Abbey. The friendship and support of my SCC sistersâLola Barrientos, Patsy Evans, Chris Thomas, Beverly Resch, Mary Sams, Diane Hager, and Margaret Harriganâover the years has meant a great deal to me. And finally, my thanks to fellow Elizabethans Jerry and Nancy Mitchell, who appeared one night at Hatfield House and made the banquet magical.
And the spirit of Elizabeth herself, I believe, hovered over the book as it was taking shape and whispered her guidance.
In her days every man shall eat in safety,
Under his own vine, what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! But she must die,
She must, the saints must have her; yet a virgin,
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To th' ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
KING HENRY VIII:
O Lord Archbishop,
Thou hast made me now a man. Never before
This happy child did I get anything.
This oracle of comfort has so pleas'd me
That when I am in heaven I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.
, V, iv: 33-38; 56-68
The Vatican, March 1588
elice Peretti, otherwise known as Pope Sixtus V, stood swaying before the stack of rolled Bulls.
They were neatly arranged like a cord of wood, alternating short and long sides, their lead seals hanging down like a row of puppy tails.
“Ah,” he said, eyeing them with great satisfaction. They seemed to radiate power. But one thing was lacking: his blessing.
Raising his right hand, he spoke in sonorous Latin: “O sovereign God, hear the prayer of your servant Sixtus. Acting in accordance with my office as the vicar of Christ, his representative on earth, who has the power to bind and loose, to forgive sins or withhold forgiveness, I have pronounced judgment on that wicked woman of England, the pretender queen. She is hereby excommunicated from the body of Christendom until such time as she repents. In order that those living under her rule do not go down into damnation with her, we bless the Enterprise of England. Aboard the ships of the great Armada will go these Bulls of excommunication and sentence upon Elizabeth, the pretender queen of England, calling for her deposition, in order that her subjects may be rescued from her impiety and perverse government. They will see the happy light of day when Christ's avengers set boots upon English soil. There they will be distributed to the faithful. Merciful God, we ask this in the savior's name, and for his Holy Church.”