While A Reader's Respite is a firm believer in outlandish fiction, we read in a recent interview that Steve Berry is actually asserting that Elizabeth I was indeed really a man. Calling for an exhumation of the monarch's remains for testing, Berry is claiming that the real Elizabeth died in childhood and her governess, that crafty Kat Ashley, ran down to the local village, snatched a young boy and substituted him for the young Princess with no one ever being the wiser.
We pause here so you can indulge in hysterical laughter.
Since no serious scholar or historian gives any credence to such a theory we can only call Berry's assertion one thing: a Stupid Author Trick used to generate sales.
Unfortunately, Berry didn't think this one out very well. He is claiming that that because Liz never married and accomplished what no previous monarch had, she clearly must have been a he. Because women are not capable of successfully ruling an entire nation. Pssst, Steve....
What we have here, Steve, is a classic case of I'm-a-misogynist-asshole. And that, my friend, is not an intelligent way to sell books. You've now limited your potential audience to similar-minded misogynist assholes. Or at least the ones in airports since that is generally the only place we ever see your books for sale.
So what, Steve, should you do now? Thankfully, there is some damage control you can engage in starting immediately:
There. That ought to do the trick. And remember that fiction is not synonymous with fact. Try not to confuse the two in the future. Thank you.