Our book of the month for July is Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years by John Guy; one of the most revealing biographies of Elizabeth I to be released in recent years. 

John Guy is well respected as one of Britain’s great historians, with an expert knowledge of the Tudor period. As a Fellow of Clare College he has undertaken lots of scholarly research, with his PhD focussing on Cardinal Wolsey. He has written various books about the Tudor period including the award winning biography of Mary Queen of Scots, ‘My Heart is My Own’. He still teaches at Cambridge University, however he does this part time to give him the opportunity to work on his writing alongside his broadcasting career.

Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years


Elizabeth I has been the subject of many biographies as she has intrigued historians over the years due to her long reign and her reputation as the ‘Virgin Queen’. However most of these biographies have focussed on her early life and the beginning of her reign, with very few looking at the last 15 years of her life after the Spanish Armada. John Guy has tried to rectify this with his in depth exploration of these ‘forgotten years’ by trying to get closer to the real truth about her rather than using the misrepresentations that have appeared in previous works. In order to do this he has returned to the handwritten letters and documents that have been preserved in archives rather than relying on previous interpretations that have depended on on possibly unreliable sources. Many of the sources that Guy has used to support his work have hardly been used before so he really is able to provide a new perspective on Elizabeth’s life.

To read more about Elizabeth I and the other monarchs with strong ties to Westminster Abbey please click here.