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King's Queens

June 23, 1991

Please deliver us from book reviews of historical biography by writers of fiction.

While actually saying very little about either book or writer, Ms. King launches into pop feminist pseudo-psychohistory, blatantly hijacking 16th- and 18th-Century female historical figures into the all-knowing gaze of the late-20th-Century woman. This time-traveling of historical figures is a common mistake amongst those who lack historical knowledge and perspective, and it is the stuff of fictional tripe.

Elizabeth I was indeed great and possibly as shrewd as any who have lived. Yet before Ms. King gets lost in the Queen's virginity, she should note the aptly put words of an English professor: "Queen Elizabeth's greatest skill was her superb sense of political theatre . . . an actress who was never offstage."

GREGG P. DURHAM, CYPRESS

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