Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1) by Margaret Irwin

Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)

Growing up in the shadow of her dead mother, the infamous Anne Boleyn, young Princess Elizabeth has learnt to be continuously on the watch for the political games played out around her. It is never certain when one might rise, or precariously fall, out of royal favor. When her distant father, Henry VIII, dies, the future brightens for Elizabeth. She is able to set up a home with Henry s last wife, Katherine Parr who now has a new husband, Tom Sey...

Details Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)

TitleYoung Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
Release DateOct 1st, 2007
PublisherAllison & Busby
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, English History, Tudor Period, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)

  • Orsolya
    Whether as a child or as an adult; the life of Queen Elizabeth I was quite interesting and dramatic, to say the least. Margaret Irwin begins her Elizabeth Trilogy following the future Gloriana as a young teen aging both physically and mentally in, “Young Bess”. Irwin’s writing strikes the reader with instant literary tones in the realm of flowery descriptions, symbolism, and vivid imagery. This captures the reader without turning “Young B...
  • Natasa
    Young Bess was a wonderful story, centering on a time in Elizabeth’s life when things still aren’t certain for her. Danger, doubt, and treachery are at every turn. The research that the author did for this book shines through in the writing. 
  • Alantie
    I really cannot fathom why people are giving this book such high reviews. I love historical fiction, I love the Tudors, but something about this book just didn't jive with me. To be honest I found it very dry - most of it is telling, not showing. There's very little meaningful conversation and there's no real personal connection to anyone in the text. There are great big passages where it talks about the plots that are happening but it's always f...
  • Misfit
    Young Bess is the first in a trilogy Margaret Irwin wrote on the life of Elizabeth Tudor and begins towards the end of Henry VIII's life during his marriage to Catherine Parr. Upon Henry's death Bess goes to live with the widowed Catherine who soon marries the new King's uncle Tom Seymour - but was Catherine really Tom's first choice for a bride or would he have preferred to marry the young princess to further his own ambitions? Bess is barely on...
  • CLM
    This is my mother's favorite book, which influenced both her and me in our love of the 16th century. I asked her to share her thoughts: recently found out it was made into a movie starring Jean Simmons. The popularity of Philippa Gregory has brought this wonderful trilogy back into print.
  • Maia B.
    It's difficult to know what to say about this book. It's marvelously done - well researched, beautifully written, full of sharp wit that Margaret Irwin employs to her benefit. But it's also a little too long, at times a little too dull, and it also employs a simply enormous cast of characters, all of whom share four or five names: Mary, Catherine, Jane, Thomas, and Edward. And Elizabeth, of course. Add a Henry and you've got the entire dramatis p...
  • Jennifer
    From my blog...Exquisitely written, well researched, with intense and vivid imagery, Young Bess The Girl Who Would Be Queen is an absolutely amazing beginning of what promises to be a spectacular trilogy chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth. Margaret Irwin has such a brilliant command of this time period, the reader is immediately transported back in time to the end of King Henry VIII's rule as a young Bess has moved in with the newly widowed ...
  • Jennifer
    From my blog...[return]Exquisitely written, well researched, with intense and vivid imagery, Young Bess The Girl Who Would Be Queen is an absolutely amazing beginning of what promises to be a spectacular trilogy chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth. Margaret Irwin has such a brilliant command of this time period, the reader is immediately transported back in time to the end of King Henry VIII's rule as a young Bess has moved in with the newly ...
  • Patty
    This is a reprint; the book was originally written in 1944. Elizabeth I is one of my favorite historical figures and I have done quite a bit of reading about her - but most of it is from the time after she ascended to the throne. It was very interesting to read a book that takes you back to the time when she was still a child. Before she became the political genius and great Queen of England.The book was easy to read and is very detailed as to it...
  • Haley Mathiot
    While I was reading this book I had my moments where I was thinking “this is nice…this is cute…” the writing was very eloquent and good. However the plot was just… nonexistent. By page 85 not much had happened. I had no urge to continue reading and even though I enjoyed it while I was reading it, I had to force myself to sit down and read it. And you should never have to force yourself to read a book (except for school). I felt the same...
  • Kim Kaso
    This book was written in 1944, but it can hold its own with most of the books about the reign of the Tudors that are popular today. She does not write quite as salaciously about matters sexual as Philippa Gregory did in The Other Boleyn Girl, but she makes Thomas Seymour's pursuit of the young Princess Elizabeth while married to her pregnant step-mother, Katherine Parr, quite clear. Here is a man who definitely wants his cake while voraciously ea...
  • Grace
    This has taken me ages to read, which is partly a reflection on the book, but I was also quite busy. The Tudor times are one of my favourite periods in history which is mainly why I was drawn to this book and in the aspect of history I got exactly what I wanted. However, some sections were extremely boring and long which let it down for me and made me at times not want to continue to read to it. I am glad I persisted with it though as it did pick...
  • Elizabeth (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)
    Margaret Irwin's Young Bess introduces us to an Elizabeth rarely written about. Opening when she is twelve years old, readers meet an intelligent, strong-willed child who has been reunited with her father through the auspices of his Queen, Catherine Parr. Loving and admiring her father, Bess, like any other child has been hurt by his refusal to see her for several years, and is mistrustful of his words and actions. The constancy of her governess,...
  • Zara
    This book focuses on the young Elizabeth (from aged 12 to 19) and her fiery relationship with Tom Seymour. It is a bit confused at first as to whether it is teaching people the history of the royal children or telling the story; the history textbook feel is added to by the fact that some phrases are lifted from historical documents and letters. It feels like the author is showing off her research a little too much. I was a little surprised at jus...
  • Cheryl
    You have read the stories about Queen Anne and King Henry but what about Princess Elizabeth? In Young Bess, the first book in the Elizabeth I trilogy, readers learn about Elizabeth “Bess” and her life after her mother’s death. Bess does not have much love for he father, the King. In fact you could say she will not be heart broken when he dies. Bess strikes up a romantic interlude with her step-mother, Catherine Parr’s husband, Tom Seymour...
  • Felicia Empey
    This fits into the category of 'Historical Fiction Done Right' because of the research however the multiple viewpoints/exposition on the part of the different characters got a little annoying. I would have preferred it to be more from Elizabeth's POV since it is about her. I don't care what the Duke of Somerset is thinking with regard to his wife... I do want to know more about the conflicting feelings Elizabeth has towards Tom, technically he's ...
  • Jodi
    Am revisiting this book from when I read it in fourth grade which started my interest in Elizabeth I. Must confess, I am not sure how much was absorbed at that age as it is a much more sophisticated structure than I remembered. Written as a 'novel' the book does keep to the facts with some embellishments (not bad enough that this history teacher would fear readers would come away with incorrect views).Felt that the last quarter of the text spent ...
  • Adrian
    very engaging. This was billed as YA historical fiction, but I think it addresses more adult themes than YA, but at the same time doesn't focus on the gruesome or pornographic parts of history. I appreciated reading a book that could address violence and sex without making me flinch, and also without making it seem like it had ignored or left out the harshness of that time in history.Historical fiction, following Elizabeth I from age 12 (?) to ag...
  • Sara
    My aunt sent me this series. This is the first one. I had moments of enjoyment but found it a bit dry. Also, it seemed odd that so much time was spent developing certain scenes and characters and then the final chapter was a quick recap of ensuing betrayal and executions. It was as if the author had to finish up the novel in order to meet a deadline. I will probably read the rest of the series, simply because this historical family has always fas...
  • Marjorie
    At the moment I have a bit of a "thing" for the Tudors and have been watching a lot of documentaries dealing with the wives of Henry VIII and the fortunes of his offspring. I was recommended to read Phillippa Gregory but spotted this one on sale and thought I would give it a go. I have to admit, it was money well spent and I was surprised to discover how long ago this book was originally published (1944) as some of what we think of as modern sens...
  • WyrmbergSabrina
    This took me much longer to get through than I thought it would. At times it read like a history text, giving me mountains of information about the events happening around Young Bess, rather than telling me more about her feelings. I suppose that's that hardest thing about historical novels where the focus is on a known historical figure; the author has to tread carefully between what we know from written documents and paintings, and what the wri...
  • Yaaresse
    I read this too long ago to remember much about it except that I liked it at the time. I'm not sure how it would go over today since most fiction readers can't seem to get through a book unless the angst and "romance" is off the charts and the whole thing is written in first person present like a Twitter feed. Irwin often wrote flowery descriptions and tended to take her time unraveling the story. Personally, I preferred Margaret Campbell Barnes'...
  • Faye Johnson
    This book follows Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Nan Bullen aka Anne Boleyn, during her adolescent years before taking the throne of England. While interesting, it relies too much on the author’s imagination to fill in what the characters said, thought and did at that point in time that affected the royalty for many years to come. I prefer more fact and less fiction
  • Tracey
    I really enjoyed this book. The voice of Princess Elizabeth was told beautifully by Margaret Irwin . It captured her youth , her tortured life as a princess on the verge of adulthood betwixt by Tom Seymour . The vying for attention with Jane grey , and her depth in the feeling of her right to the throne during her brother’s reign. A joy in the many books on Tudor history I’ve read.
  • Deirdre
    The best fictional portrayal of Elizabeth I, bar none. Though some of the portrayals are a bit dated (like Frances Brandon Grey), it still holds up well for the most part.
  • Karin Pearson
    Not as good as I hoped. Probably the most annoying thing was Anne Boylene being referred to as 'Nan Bullen'.
  • Marie
    Young Bess is a story that is familiar to many Tudor fans, as it focuses on Tudor times that surrounded Elizabeth I as she was growing up. Although this is a historical novel, I found it full of interesting facts regarding the important players of the time, but it was written in such a way that it felt like Margaret was right here telling us the story as she knew it. Originally written in 1944, I didn't find the prose too outdated, except for a f...
  • Laura Jane
    The first in a trilogy about the early life of Queen Elizabeth I and the perilous nature of her existence as a royal princess who skillfully manages to keep herself alive and eventually fulfil her personal sense of destiny to become Queen of England. The book introduces us to Elizabeth as a young girl of 13 who is living in the shadow of her dead mother, Anne Boleyn, and as a result is already astute and watchful of the political machinations of ...
  • Laura
    I really enjoyed reading this book on the early life of Elizabeth I during her Brothers reign and the intrigue she shared with The Admiral. I found that the book was written in an engaging and believable way with a lot of historical content. It was obviously meticulously researched.I especially enjoyed the working in of the popular rumours that have surrounded the time without presenting them as facts but still allowed the reader access to some t...