The Favourite: Ambition, Politics and Love - Sir Walter Ralegh in Elizabeth I's Court
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When the adventurer Walter Ralegh first encountered Elizabeth I he supposedly placed his cloak over a puddle and allowed the queen to walk across it. Thus began one of the most intriguing relationships between a monarch and her favourite. The Favourite explores the labyrinthine complexity of human emotion, ambition and ritual within the restricted confines of the Tudor court. Was the favourite a Machiavellian schemer who fooled the queen in her affections? Was Elizabeth willing to manipulate her courtier for her own ends? The Queen's affection for Ralegh would protect him but he would soon become the 'most hated man in England'. In The Favourite, Mathew Lyons reveals a new portrait of an immortal relationship and a fascinating exploration of the many layers of love between Gloriana and Ralegh - courtier, chancer and privateer. Reviews for Impossible Journeys: - 'Jocular but scholarly compendium of outlandish voyages.' Book of the Week, Time Out - 'Lyons's account is truly heartbreaking.' New Statesman - 'The book as a whole has a kind of understated magic.' Guardian - 'Presents the tales with great wit and wisdom, and an undercurrent of learning that makes the whole project very attractive indeed.' Independent on Sunday - 'Each story is told exquisitely and comes backed with exhaustive research.' Sunday Times
such suspicions, and the accident of Sarmiento’s kidnapping in Navarre, Elizabeth and Ralegh’s attempt to stop the Armada foundered. The war party in both countries had won. Ralegh was left with one thing only for his strenuous efforts towards Sarmiento: a story the conquistador had told him about a great golden city deep in the South America interior, at the head of the Orinoco river. It was called, Sarmiento said, el dorado, the golden one. Ralegh thought he had found his – and Elizabeth’s –
Serene Signory, ?1559 (but calendared under September 1561), CSP Venice, vol. VII: 1558–80, pp. 327–32. 32. Earl of Bedford to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, 14 February 1566, quoted in Mumby, The Fall of Mary Stuart, p. 56. 33. Ibid. 34. 12 February 1559, CSP Spain (Simancas), vol. I: 1558–67, p. 29. 35. 24 March 1565, ibid., p. 409. 36. Baron Brenner to the Emperor Ferdinand, June 1565, in Klarwill, Queen Elizabeth and Some Foreigners, p. 87. 37. 23 June 1568, CSP Foreign, Elizabeth, vol.
David B., The Roanoke Voyages 1584–90 (2 vols), London, 1955. Quinn, David B., The Voyages and Colonising Enterprises of Sir Humphrey Gilbert (2 vols), London, 1940. Quinn, David B. and Cheshire, Neil M., The New Found Land of Stephen Parmenius, Toronto, 1972. Ralegh, Sir Walter, The Works of Sir Walter Ralegh (8 vols) ed. William Oldys, London, 1829. Rattansi, P.M., ‘Alchemy and Natural Magic in Ralegh’s History of the World’, Ambix, XIII, 1966. Read, Conyers, Lord Burghley and Queen
Mary died and the crown passed to her. She had spent her whole life resisting the pressure – social and political, national and international – to wed, and there is little doubt that she relished the public responsibility such resistance brought, no less than the private freedom. Yet however much loneliness became her, it did not define her. The first set of dishes were replaced with others but Elizabeth did not linger to taste them. She rose and three noblemen brought her a silver-gilt basin
– the principal attraction of Englefield had to be his status as one of Philip’s most trusted advisers about English affairs, and a direct line into the circle of conspirators in exile, who were by no means a homogenous bunch. Indeed, like many another group of revolutionaries with similar but not identical aims, there were at least two competing factions, in places overlapping but nevertheless distinct, who despised and distrusted each other: the Hispano-papal axis on one side, of which