Books: The Heart of a King

ELIZABETH THE GREAT (336 pp.)—Elizabeth Jenkins—Coward-McCann ($5).

Was Elizabeth I illegitimate? Was she capable of pregnancy? Was she bald? How did she stand with the Pope? These were some of the questions that obsessed the minds of Britons 400 years ago, a time when high policy revolved about the person of the monarch. The answers did much to determine the shape of the modern world, and they lend a womanly interest to Elizabeth Jenkins' sprightly new biography of Elizabeth I.

The answers: Elizabeth was illegitimate in the sense that her father, Henry VIII, had his marriage with her mother, Anne Boleyn, declared invalid;...

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