The Book Depository The Queen's Agent by John Cooper

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The Book Depository The Queen's Agent by John Cooper
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Description: The Queen's Agent : Paperback : Faber & Faber : 9780571218271 : 057121827X : 05 Jul 2012 : He encourage Elizabeth to make war against the Catholic Irish rebels, with extreme brutality and oversaw the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The Queen's Agent is a story of secret agents, cryptic codes and ingenious plots, set in a turbulent period of England's history. The Book Depository The Queen's Agent by John Cooper - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

Category: Books

Merchant: The Book Depository

Product ID: 9780571218271

MPN: 057121827X

GTIN: 9780571218271

 
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Author: The Keen Reader

Rating: 5

Review: Queen Elizabeth I remains a figure of fascination for many; and it is always interesting to read more of the men (and women) who made up her court, and who contributed to her long reign. Francis Walsingham has always been seen as a man of some mystery; a man of intrigue, spies, ciphers and skullduggery generally. So it is most interesting to see a book which deals with Elizabeth's court from the perspective of Walsingham's involvement. The lengthy and important political career that Walsingham had prior to 1577, when the growing threat of a revival in Catholicism and missionary priests threw internal security, and Walsingham's role in same, into the spotlight, was a revelation to me. It helps to explain Walsingham's later career (which is more popularly known, even if somewhat vaguely, by most), and his conviction and loyalties to his religion and his monarch. Having been present in Paris during the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572, it is not difficult to see how Walsingham could translate the concept of such religious and political threats over to his own country. In this marvellous book, we also get to read of the lives of some of the conspirators; how it was that they appeared to turn against their country and their queen; and how Walsingham and Burghley built the mechanisms to deal with these menaces. There are interesting and very enlightening chapters in the book also on relations with France, the Babington plot to free Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabethan attempts to govern Ireland, as well as the dreams of the growing "English Empire". While there are notes for source material used in the book, it's a shame that there is no bibliography as such; it would have been good to have more suggestions for reading, and source material cited in book form so that I could have looked for more reading and information. But that's the only quibble I have with this book; the writing is totally engaging, the story compelling and the material beautifully presented. Totally recommended for anyone who has an interest in Elizabethan times, political and espionage development in English Tudor history, or just an interest in Walsingham and his times - enough of a fascination in itself to justify devouring the book.

 

Author: Paul Ferguson

Rating: 4

Review: I bought this book because I am interested in the Elizabethan secret service and especially their use of cryptographers and linguists like Thomas Phelippes. There's not much about that in this book, but it is scholarly and well-written (if rather dry in style) and provided me with useful general background, especially about Walsingham's experiences in France and Switzerland, though most of the material will probably already be familiar to keen students of the period. It has the air of a warmed-up PhD thesis and is quite a slog to get through. I've bought several more specialised books on the espionage aspect which I haven't got around to yet. I'm starting to wonder if there ever was an Elizabethan secret service or whether Sidney Lee was simply over-interpreting in his DNB articles. P. S. The author seems to know his ships and seamanship and is quite good on the Spanish Armada and people like Frobisher. Perhaps he could give us some books on the Elizabethan navy?

 

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