August Books 12) The Reign of Elizabeth 1558-1603, by J.B. Black
This is the eighth of the original 14-volume Oxford History of England, originally published in 1936 but revised in 1959. I can't very easily count the number of books I have read recently about Elizabeth right now; this is one of the major attempts to summarise what was then known about her. I was disappointed in Black's treatment of Ireland, squashed into the last chapter and a half and very much treated from an entirely English perspective. However, I found some welcome strengths: in particular, I haven't seen as good an exploration anywhere else of the English policies of Spain, France, Scotland and the Netherlands. (It still seems odd to me that nowhere further east seems to have mattered much.) The chapter on constitutional theory, and the first hald of the chapter on literature, were also helpful. I'm still on the lookout for a good book about the Elizabethan (or indeed Tudor) court as a phenomenon.
My Elizabethan work, such as it is, is now going on hiatus until September 2014 for reasons which are already partly public and will be revealed in more detail in a couple of weeks. But I will keep up my reading.