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Reviews 221 The water-related activities ofAbbess Ansilperga (for w h o m the index is not a sure guide) are most interesting to survey. Her royal monastery of S. Salvatore-S. Giulia at Brescia had its o w n aqueduct, which she attempted to safeguard from tapping by others, and lead piping to supply water for in-house needs which seem to have included baths; widefishingrightsfor its 'men', and others which were lucratively rented; and a synchronised double mill geared to a vertical, apparently overshot, waterwheel, with adjacent processing yard, available to the wider community, and constituting, one gathers, the most technologically sophisticated mill known from early medieval Italy. Evidence is not entirely drawn from Italy: for example, Sidonius Apollinaris' enthusiasm for his cold spring water that mists the glass and Gregory ofTours' description ofmill-dams are usefully cited. It is nevertheless in bringing the detail of early medieval Italian primary sources and the minutiae of modern Italian local history into an effective overall study that this book's great accomplishment lies. Lynette Olson Department ofHistory University of Sydney Starkey, David, Elizabeth: Apprenticeship, London, Chatto and Windus, 2000; pp. xii, 339; R R P £20; ISBN 0-7011-6939-7. Although it is almost 400 years since her death, popular and scholarly fasci with Elizabeth I continues to prompt a remarkably steady stream of new books about the queen. Most of these studies, especially those written by professional writers like Alison Weir and Alison Plowden, tread familiar ground and add very little that is significant or new. It is therefore a considerable pleasure to report that David Starkey's new study of Elizabeth's early years (the book ends c. 1560) tells us much that is fresh and important. Instead of merely summarising the current state ofknowledge about her path to the throne, Starkey presents a more complex and challenging - but still overwhelmingly positive - portrait of Elizabeth which raises some big questions about how w e should interpret her subsequent queenship. David Starkey has come to this subject as an expert on the Henrician court rather than its Elizabethan equivalent, which gives him (and his readers) the 222 Reviews advantage ofseeing the queen's youth in its own terms and not as a mere prologue to 1558 and beyond. H e has also made good use both of C. S. Knighton's superb recent editions of the Calendars of state papers, domestic, for Edward VI and Mary (1992 and 1998) and various under-utilised nineteenth-century sources. Making careful use of these materials, he re-contours many of the accepted key features of Elizabeth's early life. Contrary to received opinion, he argues that Katherine Parr's religious views only became radicalised after her marriage to Henry VIII - the court transformed the queen, not the other way around - and that Elizabeth's adolescence was therefore shaped by observing her step-mother actively undergoing conversion to Protestantism. The jury is still out on this argument, since the evidence of Katherine Parr's religious views presented in Susan James' Kateryn Parr (1999), which is not cited by Starkey, is not conclusive one way or the other. Even more intriguing - and potentially important - is the suggestion that Elizabeth's beliefthat a w o m a n could rule as a sovereign without a consort was shaped by her formative experience of moving to court in summer 1544, when Henry VIII was campaigning in France and Katherine Parr sat upon the throne in his place: 'Elizabeth saw a court fronted by a w o m a n and managed by a council' (p. 41). Elizabeth herself only became a major player in politics during the reign of Mary, when Starkey portrays her as genuinely aggressive and duplicitous. Making good use of prosopography and the details of Elizabeth's estates, he makes a strong case for her involvement (directly or indirectly) in almost all of the plots against Mary, despite her claims to the contrary. H o w far Elizabeth might have gone in these murky conspiracies if circumstances had seemed propitious must remain a matter of speculation. Nevertheless, covert preparations for action over the autumn of 1558 show that she was fully prepared...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 221-223
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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