16th Century: Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

The goddess of the Reformation defeated Europe's greatest power and set Britain on its epic journey to empire

First feminist. First spinmeister. Megawatt celeb. So might our age judge her. To 16th century England, Elizabeth I was the original feminine mystique: goddess Gloriana; Virgin Queen; finally and enduringly, Good Queen Bess. The most remarkable woman ruler in history can claim few traditional princely achievements, yet she gave her name to an age. Hers was a prodigious political success story built on the power of personality: the Queen as star. A woman so strong, a politician so skillful, a monarch so magnetic that she impressed herself indelibly on the minds of her people to reshape the fate of England. She...

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