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Dr. Nicola Tallis on Queen Elizabeth’s Surprise Rival

As a lover of history, I was delighted to catch up with Nicola at this year’s Emirates Literature Festival. We talked about the Tudor period in general, and then dived deeper into various pivotal characters of the era… Did you know that Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for 13 days and then executed at the age of 17? Shocking stuff.

Nicola’s first book, Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey, was published in 2016 after five years of research.

Her more recent book, Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice KnollysCountess of Leicester, is the first biography of the extraordinary and scandalous Tudor lady. Lettice Knollys was Queen Elizabeth’s cousin and she went on to marry the love of Elizabeth’s life, Robert Dudley. In secret. What happened next surprised me…

You can find Dr. Nicola Tallis on Twitter and at

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