The Life of Elizabeth I

How did you come across the book?

Well, a long time ago I read another book by Alison Weir called ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII‘… and that was a great book… sort of my first introduction to that period of English history… so I knew she was a good writer, and so when I saw this in a used bookstore I picked it up. It kind of continues within the same period… well, there’s one other book in the middle between these two called ‘The Children of Henry VIII‘, but… I mean… if you know the basics of what happened then it’s not that hard to follow along; I’m planning on reading all three!

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

Hmm… perspective? Well, its mostly about Elizabeth and I’m in the very beginning. So, I guess… how early experiences affect one’s outlook… her childhood was, to put it mildly, not particularly secure and not particularly pleasant. She was delegitimized and then legitimized again…. she was the prisoner in the tower and then became the Queen of England. So I guess what I’ve learned so far… well actually, it seems to have given her, you know, she kept her own council for the rest of her life and was wary of revealing emotion… that was actually good for her, but I think it also gave her some other things that made her a great Queen… but I wonder if it also didn’t make her somewhat unhappy… later on.

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

I would recommend this to anyone who likes English history… I’d recommend this book… actually, I’d recommend the ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII‘ because this is one of those subjects that a lot of people have heard about and… there was this show, The Tudors, which was on a while ago… and obviously, you know, it kind of follows the history… but this pretty much tells you what happened in chronological order and makes you… if you read ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII‘… I mean it’s really a popular history book… it’s not a scholarly work, but it’s accurate enough and it’s just a really good book. Anyone interested in history should read that book. Generally, I recommend anyone to educate themselves in English history, because to a degree this country is an extension of Great Britain… a successor to some of its traits and so fourth. So, yeah, I definitely recommend this book, the author, and the author’s other books.

Stamped from the Beginning

How did you come across the book?

“That’s a good question… umm… I think it came up on my GoodReads. I’m on GoodReads and I think one of my friends marked it as a book he wanted to read so I checked it out and added it to my list.”

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“Man… I was actually just talking about this earlier! So, essentially the way the book goes… he breaks it down into three different ideas… and then looks at racist ideas through those three different lenses; its the segregationists, or the racists, the anti-racists, and the assimilationists. So, you have segregationists people who are just flat out racist… your anti-racist people who are firmly against racism and all its forms… and then your assimilationists… and those are the ones who say that if black people were to be more like white people, or if black people could aspire to whiteness, then everything would be better… and, I think the biggest thing that I’ve taken from this book is that I would have firmly put myself within the anti-racist category… but I found that so many of my thoughts and views, which were shaped by the racist society that we live in, put me in the assimilationist category… where I would say things like, “Oh, if we black people could just do this… then, you know, we’d be viewed differently.” But… uplift suasion… which is something he talks about… which is the idea that if we  would act a certain way then white people would respect us… and media suasion… which is if white people would just see more good black people then they would think differently about us; historically both have proven to not work. It’s just been… eye opening… kind of like… if you’ve seen the documentary 13th. And so… you know how that entire documentary, your just going wow… WOW? You read this book and you’re just going…WOW! So yeah… its incredible! I’d recommend it to anybody.

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

” I would recommend this book… literally… to everybody. I would recommend it to racists, so that they can see where there ideas came from… I would recommend it to anti-racists, so that they can see the history of the struggle… and I would recommend it to assimilationists, because most assimilationists don’t realize that that is the category they fall into… and reading this book would really open their eyes and give them a new perspective.”