The Men Who Would Be King: Suitors to Queen Elizabeth I
by Josephine Ross
As the most eligible, nubile woman in Europe for much of the mid- (and she stretched it out to the late) 16th century, Elizabeth welcomed the courtship of many men. Though her suitors indulged her wish for the courtly romance and flirtations, she committed herself to none. Although she came close, as most know with the ever-hopeful Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and her “Frog”, François, Duke of Alençon. The Duke, later titled Duke of Anjou, was even publically given a ring as a sign of Elizabeth’s pledge.
This book is for a very targeted audience. Ross goes into great detail discussing the suitors for Queen Elizabeth’s hand as negotiations became government policy besides romantic courtship. Although I thought Ross would have devoted more time to “Frog” than others, the discussion on Archduke Charles took up the bulk of the pages. There was impressive and extensive use of primary sources from the Imperial and Papal Courts.
This was not a current book, but a ‘find’ my husband gave to me in recent years and I thoroughly enjoyed it.