This surprising portrait of the Tudor queen offers an “ambitious re-examination of the intersection of gender and monarchy” (The New York Times Book Review). Queen Elizabeth I was all too happy to play on courtly conventions of gender when it suited her “‘weak and feeble’ woman’s body” to do so for political gain. But in Elizabeth, historian Lisa Hilton offers ample evidence why those famous words should not be taken at face value. With new research out of France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, Hilton’s fresh interpretation is of a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince—an expert in Machiavellian statecraft. Elizabeth depicts a sovereign less constrained by her femininity than most accounts claim, challenging readers to reassess Elizabeth’s reign and the colorful drama and intrigue to which it is always linked. It’s a fascinating journey that shows how a marginalized newly crowned monarch, whose European contemporaries considered her to be the illegitimate ruler of a pariah nation, ultimately adapted to become England’s first recognizably modern head of state.