Books: Virgin Queen

QUEEN ELIZABETH—Katherine Anthony—Knopf ($4). Chosen by the Literary Guild for October.

The Queen. In England a woman once bore a daughter and was later beheaded by the child's father. The woman: prim-mouthed Anne Boleyn. The husband: vain, red-bearded, argumentative Henry VIII. The daughter: Queen Elizabeth.

Small Elizabeth had "great pain with her great teeth," which served as an alibi for her earliest whims. She was greedy for meats, fruits, wines. Masculinity she soon exhibited, studying literary classics as might a boy, fencing with impetuous skill.

When Henry VIII died, Elizabeth, 13, continued...

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