June 10, 2013

Elizabeth I gets the 'Da Vinci Code' Treatment

What if someone told you that Elizabeth I actually died when she was 10 years old, and replaced with an impostor? What if they went on to tell you that she was actually a he?

Well, that is what you will get with a new novel titled The King's Deception: A Novel. Set in 21st century London,
Cotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his former boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. But after he is greeted at gunpoint in London, both the fugitive and Gary disappear, and Malone learns that he’s stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown—an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.  
At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for “humanitarian reasons.” An outraged American government objects, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene. Except, perhaps, Operation King’s Deception. Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations. Blake Antrim, the CIA operative in charge of King’s Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire, the one thing that every Irish national has sought for generations: a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire forty-five-year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another—and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to prevent the shattering consequences of the King’s Deception.
Author Steve Berry explained that he was inspired to write this novel by a chance question "during a tour of Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire three years ago. ‘I always ask if there are any secrets or mysteries, and the guide told me: “There’s nothing at Ely but I’ve heard an incredible rumor in the Cotswolds.’" Sceptical at first, Berry uncovered tantalizing hints and references in books and ancient manuscripts."

This article from the Daily Mail goes into a lot more detail, providing "proof" for Berry's theory.

It certainly seems an interesting premise, however I feel the author is really grasping at straws. I think you can interpret any "evidence" to be what you want it to be. I don't think Elizabeth was male, nor that Kate Ashley (or anyone for that matter) could pull off such a stunt. Regardless, I'm sure it will be a very interesting read, and will certainly lead to some interesting discussion.


  1. Had heard this theory on a BBC special, but it was dispelled. Interesting premise though and look forward to reading the book.

  2. I heard this theory more than 20 years ago when I worked at the Huntington Library in California. The curators there laughed at it.

  3. It is one of the more ridiculous theories I've heard. Especially about Elizabeth. Even now, people can't accept that she just didn't want to marry.

  4. That's been rumored 4 many years. That she was replaced by a little boy & that's why she remained virgin, which has been doubted as well. We'll never know for sure, unless some evidence is found proving that such is true.It does put a question in people's minds.Why she dressed the way she did, to disguise her adams apple. Why she never had children. It will remain an unanswered question.


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