Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Elizabeth I: The People's Queen

Elizabeth I, the People's Queen: Her Life and Times, 21 Activities Kerrie Logan Hollihan

This is in the same series as Thomas Jefferson for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities, and was also nominated for a Cybil.

The biography portion is overall well done. It does a great job of explaining the domestic and international politics and events that really shaped Elizabeth’s life. It also covers many of the cultural aspects, mainly Shakespeare.

My only complaint is that Hollihan sometimes quotes primary sources, complete with Elizabethan spelling and doesn’t offer any translation, gloss, or explanation. I mean passages like this: ...paraventure your Lordeship and the rest of the Counsel wil thinke that I favor her ivel doinge for whome I shal speake for, whiche is for Kateryn Aschiley, that it wolde please your grace and the rest of the Counsel to be good unto her... First, bicause that she hathe bene with me a longe time, and manye years, and hathe taken great labor, and paine in brinkinge of me up in lerninge and honestie, and therfore I ougth of very dewtye speke for her, for Sait Gregorie sayeth that we ar more bounde to them that bringeth us up wel than to our parents, for our parents do that wiche is natural for them, that is bringeth us into this Worlde; but our brinkers up ar a cause to make us live wel in it. were hard enough for me to understand. And I’ve dabbled in Anglo-Saxon! The ONLY help was that she points out that “Kateryn Aschiley” was Kat Ashley.

The activities though, are all over the place, which is a complaint I often have about this series. Some are really basic, such as the “Elizabethan Cloak” which involves cutting a cloak out of felt and pinning it together. Some are much more difficult, like singing a madrigal, which assumes you and your friends can all read music, or have ready accompaniment. These are complaints I’ve had about other titles in this series. It must be really hard to come up with 21 activities for some of these historical figures and time periods-- it’s not a job I envy. But... I often wish they had come up with 21 different activities.

Book Provided by... my local libary

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