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Erickson vs. Hibbert. A comparison of The First Elizabeth and The Virgin Queen by, Stacey Hilliard. Erickson. The First Elizabeth by, Carolly Erickson. Erickson. “With Edward's birth Elizabeth was all but forgotten.”. Erickson.

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erickson vs hibbert
Erickson vs. Hibbert

A comparison of The First Elizabeth

and The Virgin Queen


Stacey Hilliard




Carolly Erickson


“With Edward's birth Elizabeth was all but forgotten.”

  • King Henry VII would only allow “ancient sad persons” work in Elizabeth's household.
  • Elizabeth was afraid of her father.
  • Elizabeth was required to behave a certain way and follow certain childhood “etiquette.”

“To make a virtuous, modest child from such uncompromising material was Kat Ashley's principal task.”

  • Self-control was the main focus of her education.
  • Needlework was a girls traditional problem, however Elizabeth spent much time in the schoolroom.
  • Elizabeth was very intelligent and had a good memory which allowed languages to be taught easily.
  • She enjoyed a “classical” education.

“From the start Elizabeth overawed those nearest to her, for she seized the reigns of power at once, and boldly”

  • The Queen's mood was unpredictable.
  • She took pleasure in concocting ploys and schemes to set up her staff.
  • The Queen made her decisions out of passion.
  • The Queen alone had total control.

“Never mind the facts: before long Elizabeth would be so cheapened by the presumptions alone that no man would risk staining his own honor by marrying her.”

  • Their were many rumors concerning the relationship of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley.
  • There was a supposed rivalry between Robert Dudley and Sir William Pickering.
  • The French Prince Henry's preferred companions were “Princes of Sodom” and he rejected Elizabeth.

The wealth of knowledge in both The First Elizabeth and The Virgin Queen are basically the same. Both biographies are concerned with telling the best known truths.

differences erickson
  • This biography is very concerned with details which is apparent in the length.
  • Certain events are focused on in-depth.
  • Rumors and scandals are discussed, which allow the reader to make his/her own judgments.
  • The author does not take a specific stance on the subject of the Queen's chastity.
  • The Queen's image is not sugar coated.
differences hibbert
  • The main focus is the Queen's virginity, apparent in the title.
  • The Queen's image is important.
  • This biography emphasizes only main events.
  • The author presents information based on his own opinions.
and the winner is
And the Winner Is....

Both biographies are well-written and contain prominent information. However, as far as being entertaining The First Elizabeth is the winner by default because there is much more information on things that could be true rather than facts. This allows the reader to form his/her own opinions of what is true. Despite the length the biography is an easy read.