Elizabeth I's deathbed memoir, mainly concerning her hard-luck childhood and adolescence, which centered on her magnetic but terrifying papa, Henry VIII. The unfortunate ends of his many wives make Elizabeth vow never to marry, since she doesn't want to end up with her head on a block like her mother, even though she likes men a lot. Then sexy, scheming Thomas Seymour almost seduces her when she is still a girl--and ends up losing his head--so she becomes doubly cautious, concentrating on survival above all else. It is hard enough when her baby brother Ned is king, since he is manipulated by power-mad guardians Edward Seymour and then Northumberland. But when her older sister Mary succeeds to the throne--fanatic in her Catholicism and jealous of her young sister's beauty and the people's affection for her--life becomes even more dangerous. Highspirited and fiery Elizabeth is forced to develop statecraft to save her life. The character study treatment adds a little--just a little--life to the most familiar royal biography of them all.