The Queen's Bed An Intimate History of Elizabeth's Court

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/3/2015
  • Publisher: Picador

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $20.00 Save up to $3.00
  • Rent Book $17.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.



Queen Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. For over forty years, her bedchamber was the heart of court. Elizabeth's private life was of public concern: Her body represented the State itself, and her bedfellows were charged with safeguarding both the Queen and her propriety. These women bore witness to the figure beneath the makeup and the raiment, and also to the Queen's rumored dalliances. They were her friends, confidantes, and spies-nobody knew her better. And until now, historians have overlooked them.

In The Queen's Bed, the historian Anna Whitelock offers a revealing look at the Elizabethan court and the politics of intimacy, dramatically reconstructing the Queen's quarters and the women who patrolled them. With expert research and lively prose, Whitelock weaves a fascinating tale of sex, gossip, conspiracy, and intrigue, brought to life amid the colors, textures, and routines of the court: the untold story of Elizabeth I laid bare.

Author Biography

Anna Whitelock received her PhD in history from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 2004 with a thesis on the court of Mary I. Her articles and book reviews on various aspects of Tudor history have appeared in many publications, including The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and BBC History. She has taught at Cambridge University and is now a lecturer in early modern history and the director of public history at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Table of Contents


Author's Note xi

Prologue: Shameful Slanders 1

1. The Queen's Two Bodies 7
2. The Queen Is Dead, Long Live the Queen 11
3. Familia Reginae 17
4. Not a Morning Person 23
5. Womanish Infirmity 30
6. Disreputable Rumours 34
7. Ruin of the Realm 42
8. Carnal Copulation 51
9. Arcana Imperii 60
10. Smallpox 65
11. Devouring Lions 73
12. Ménage à Trois 80
13. Visitor to the Bedchamber 84
14. Sour and Noisome 90
15. Untouched and Unimpaired 94
16. Greatly Grieved 99
17. Suspicious Mind 105
18. The Elixir of Life 110
19 Barren Stock 115
20. Wicked Intentions 120
21. Secret Enemies 127
22. Want of Posterity 132
23. Compass Her Death 136
24. Beside Her Bed 141
25. Lewd Fantasy 149
26. Blows and Evil Words 153
27. Kenilworth 157
28. Badness of Belief 163
29. Toothache 169
30. Amorous Potions 173
31. Froggie Went A-Courtin' 180
32. Semper Eadem 190
33. The Die Is Cast 194
34. The Enemy Sleeps Not 199
35. In Defence of the Queen's Body 203
36. Agent Provocateur? 208
37. Unseemly Familiarities 212
38. Especial Favour 219
39. Th e Deed Shall Be Done 223
40. Blow Up the Bed 230
41. Nightmares 235
42. Secret Son? 241
43. Satan's Instruments 246
44. Barricaded from Within 251
45. Suspected and Discontented Persons 260
46. Age and Decay 266
47. Abused Her Body 274
48. The Physician's Poison 278
49. Love and Self-Love 283
50. Privy Matters 289
51. Foolish and Old 295
52. Mask of Youth 301
53. The Poisoned Pommel 304
54. Crooked Carcass 308
55. Lèse Majesté 312
56. Dangerous and Malicious Ends 319
57. No Season to Fool 323
58. Age Itself Is a Sickness 328
59. All Are in a Dump at Court 333
60. Deathbed 341
61. Regina Intacta 344
62. The Queen's Effigy 349

Epilogue: Secret Histories 353

Notes 359
Bibliography 415
Acknowledgements 443
Index 447

Rewards Program

Write a Review