The dramatic story of Elizabeth's first ten years on the throne and the unexplained death that scandalised her court.
Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 a 25-year-old virgin - the most prized catch in Christendom. For the first ten years of her reign, one matter dominated above all others: the question of who the queen was to marry and when she would produce an heir.
Elizabeth's life as England's Virgin Queen is one of the most celebrated in history. Christopher Skidmore takes a fresh look at the familiar story of a queen with the stomach of a man, steadfastly refusing to marry for the sake of her realm, and reveals a very different picture: of a vulnerable young woman, in love with her suitor, Robert Dudley. Had it not been for the mysterious and untimely death of his wife, Amy Robsart, Elizabeth might have one day been able to marry Dudley, since Amy was believed to be dying of breast cancer.
Instead, the suspicious circumstances surrounding Amy Robsart's death would cast a long shadow over Elizabeth's life, preventing any hope of a union with Dudley and ultimately shaping the course of Tudor history. Using newly discovered evidence from the archives, Christopher Skidmore is able to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of her death.