Books: Secret of Girl Born to Be Queen; the Queen's Bastard by Robin Maxwell. (Headline Book Publishing, Pounds 9.99)
Vasey, Sue, The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
ELIZABETH I, the Virgin Queen, is once again the subject of much interest following the huge international success of the films Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love.
In this very readable mix of historical fact and romantic fiction, the story of Elizabeth's lifelong passion for Robin Dudley, Earl of Leicester, unfolds.
Set against the background of the Spanish Armada's invasion of England in 1588 and the intrigues and struggle employed by Elizabeth to keep her throne under the constant threat of Mary Queen of Scot's rebellions, The Queen's Bastard traces her relationship with her Horsemaster and the scandal it caused both within her own court and among the courtiers in the European power houses of France and Spain.
Many historians have commented on the numerous references to Elizabeth's illegitimate births or phantom pregnancies but have generally concluded that if the Queen did indeed give birth, the child was still born, and they dismiss references to the existance of a 'bastard' child as pure speculation and gossip mongering from rival European courts. …