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The Elizabethans

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Description

A time of exceptional creativity, wealth creation, and political expansion, the Elizabethan age was also more remarkable than any other for the Technicolor personalities of its leading participants. Apart from the complex character of the Virgin Queen herself, A. N. Wilson's The Elizabethans follows the stories of Francis Drake, a privateer who not only defeated the Spanish Armada but also circumnavigated the globe with a drunken, mutinous crew and without reliable navigational instruments; political intriguers like William Cecil and Francis Walsingham; and Renaissance literary geniuses from Sir Philip Sidney to Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Most crucially, this was the age when modern Britain was born and established independence from mainland Europe--both in its resistance to Spanish and French incursions and in its declaration of religious liberty from the pope--and laid the foundations for the explosion of British imperial power and eventual American domination. An acknowledged master of the all-encompassing single-volume history, Wilson tells the exhilarating story of the Elizabethan era with all the panoramic sweep of his bestselling The Victorians, and with the wit and iconoclasm that are his trademarks.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 16, 2012 – The highly prolific author of The Victorians trains his gaze on the resplendent Elizabethan Age. British explorers like Sir Francis Drake, the first commander to sail round the earth, and return home (Magellan was killed in the Philippines), and the Elizabethan navy with its new streamlined, technologically superior galleons defeated the once-mighty Spanish Armada. The reign saw a prodigious artistic flowering with the dramas and poems of Shakespeare, Spenser, and Marlowe, the music of William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, and great houses like Longleat and Hardwick. The era's dazzling sun was the Queen—a flirtatious, formidably clever, devious political animal. She was a consummate actress capable of manipulating crowds and of also flying into volcanic rages. Elizabeth's two mainstays were her ultra-Protestant secretary William Cecil, the cunning, humorless lynchpin of Elizabeth's administration, and her favorite, the stunningly attractive, extravagantly dressed nobleman Robert Dudley. The Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots was the greatest threat to Elizabeth's throne but also taught Elizabeth a priceless lesson on the dangers of marriage for a female head of state. Wilson acknowledges that the glorious era had a heinous side: the colonization and subjugation of Ireland and the African slave trade. Wilson's ruminations are cerebral, incisive, witty, and well informed. Illus.
The Elizabethans
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Europe
  • Published: Apr 24, 2012
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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