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renaissance studies
British history

Elizabeth's Bedfellows: An Intimate History of the Queen's Court

Anna Whitelock.
Publisher Bloomsbury  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9.2 x 6 x 1.45 inches
ISBN 9781408836613
Pages/Publication Date 463/2013
Daedalus Item Code 53282
List Price: Import
Sale Price: $7.98
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Queen Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, and for more than 40 years her bedchamber was the heart of her court. Elizabeth's private life was of public concern—her body represented the state itself—and her female companions in her chambers were charged with safeguarding both the queen and her propriety. These bedfellows bore witness to the figure beneath the makeup and the raiment, as well as to the queen's rumored dalliances, yet history has almost entirely overlooked them. Published in America as The Queen's Bed, this follow-up to Anna Whitelock's Mary Tudor explores the Elizabethan court and the politics of intimacy through the Queen's quarters and the women who patrolled them, weaving a fascinating tale of sex, gossip, conspiracy, and intrigue.

"Whitelock's skillful and detailed history will bring you closer than seems possible to this glittering, infuriating, fascinating woman."—Hilary Mantel

"Culled from the aristocracy and much more than glorified servants, these women bathed, clothed, and often shared a bed with the queen. In doing so, they bore witness to the political rivalries, social gambits, and personal scandals that perpetually surrounded Elizabeth. Charged with pampering and protecting the queen's body, they also zealously guarded her secrets—often with very little thanks or consideration—in the fishbowl environment of the Elizabethan court. This intimate history of Elizabeth's boudoir and the women who populated it approaches a popular biographical subject from an entirely fresh angle, providing an enlightening peek into her private persona."—Booklist

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