A sumptuous historical novel set in the court of Elizabeth I, from Sunday Times No.1 bestseller Philippa Gregory, the author of The Other Boleyn Girl.
Now I can be the queen that my mother intended me to be . . . the queen I was born to be.
1558. After years of waiting, Princess Elizabeth accedes to the throne of England.
But the country is divided, the restoration of the Protestant faith ignites opposition from the church and beyond, and court remains a treacherous place.
Many believe that Elizabeth must marry if she is to survive. For Robert Dudley, Elizabeth's ascension is a glorious new dawn, and he quickly positions himself as the young queen's favourite. Dudley is a man of powerful lineage; his father had been a kingmaker at the court of Henry VIII. But Dudley has many enemies, amongst them William Cecil, the queen's most trusted advisor.
As powerful families vie for stakes in the emerging kingdom, Elizabeth must secure her own future.