As regnant queens in an overwhelmingly masculine world, Elizabeth I of England and Mary Queen of Scots were deplored for their femaleness, compared unfavorably with each other and courted by the same men. By placing their dynamic and ever-changing relationship at the center of the book, Dunn illuminates their differences. Elizabeth is revolutionary in her insistence on ruling alone and inspired in her use of celibacy as a political tool – yet also possessed of a deeply feeling nature. Mary is not the romantic victim of history but a courageous adventurer with a reckless heart and a magnetic influence over men and women alike. A story of sex, power and politics, of a rivalry unparalleled in the pages of English history, and of two charismatic women.