Saturday, March 3, 2012

LEGACY by Susan Kay

Susan Kay is a winner of the Georgette Heyer historical fiction award and she is an above average writer of historical romances.  "Legacy" is a long account of the reign of Elizabeth I with an emphasis on the psychological relationships she had with her male courtiers.  I am always leery of writers of historical fiction with a romantic emphasis putting their own word into historical characters mouths.  Kay is no exception.  My readings of Elizabeth lead me to believe she is a much more sympathetic and brilliant woman than Kay makes her out to be.  Kay also is touch on the Cecils, father and son.  In reality they also are more sympathetic characters.  In the same vein, brilliant men like Leicester, Raleigh, Walsingham and Hatton are presented as love-struck caricatures who act as willing puppets to the Queen.  An accurate account of Elizabeth's relationship with her advisers can be found in the non-fiction book, "All the Queen's Men" by Neville Williams.
    If you are looking for a well-written diversion and are willing to overlook accuracy in character development, you may well choose to read this book.  As far as the historical framework goes, the author presents an accurate historical rendering of events in Elizabeth's reign.

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