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History Lessons by Jonathan Gifford

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ELIZABETH I OF ENGLAND

(1533–1603)

Elizabeth grew up in a time of great religious and political turmoil, in an atmosphere of fear and in the constant shadow of violent death. She proved to be one of life’s great survivors: her fierce intelligence, strong will, and quick wits kept her alive when advisors to her sister, Queen Mary, were recommending that Elizabeth’s execution was essential for the stability of the kingdom. When she became the Queen of England, she vowed to take “good advice and counsel” and was determined to rule with the support of a broad consensus of the English people. A religious settlement was the most pressing priority, not least because of the impossibility of separating religion from both national and international politics, ...

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