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Elizabeth and Leicester: The Truth about the Virgin Queen and the Man She Lovedby Sarah Gristwood
Synopses & Reviews
A gripping account of one of history's most fascinating of alliances-the love affair between Queen Elizabeth I and her political advisor and confident, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
No one knows quite when and where their relationship began — though Leicester once said he'd known Elizabeth since she was eight years old. They shared an important commonality of experience — both with a parent dead on the headsman's block, both imprisoned in the Tower just yards away.
Within days of the death of her sister, Mary, he was at her side and within months, openly spoken of as her lover, even her future husband. Her relationship with her bonnie sweet Robin was one of the most important in the life of Elizabeth. For thirty years he loved her, advised her, understood her, sat by her bed in sickness, and represented her on state occasions. Yet, much of the fascination in their relationship comes from what is not on display: the sudden death — some said murder — of Leicester's wife, which damaged his reputation irretrievably; and Elizabeth's persistent refusal for ever afterwards to marry anybody at all.
Not a conventional biography, Elizabeth & Leicester is, rather, an intimate portrait of an affair between two people at a crucial moment in history.
From the Hardcover edition.
View our feature on Sarah Gristwoodandrsquo;s Elizabeth and Leicester. Though the story has been told on filmandmdash;and whispered in historic gossipandmdash;this is the first book in almost fifty years to solely explore the great queenandrsquo;s attachment to her beloved Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. Fueled by scandal and intrigue, their relationship set the explosive connection between public and private life in sixteenth-century England in bold relief. Why did they never marry? How much of what seemed a passionate obsession was actually political convenience? Elizabeth and Leicester reignites this 400- year-old love story in a book for anyone interested in Elizabethan literature.
View our feature on Sarah Gristwood’s Elizabeth and Leicester. Though the story has been told on film—and whispered in historic gossip—this is the first book in almost fifty years to solely explore the great queen’s attachment to her beloved Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. Fueled by scandal and intrigue, their relationship set the explosive connection between public and private life in sixteenth-century England in bold relief. Why did they never marry? How much of what seemed a passionate obsession was actually political convenience? Elizabeth and Leicester reignites this 400- year-old love story in a book for anyone interested in Elizabethan literature.
About the Author
Sarah Gristwood is an Oxford-trained historian who has worked as a journalist specializing in the arts and wome‛s issues. She was a regular contributor to the Times, Guardian, Independent, and Evening Standard.
Table of Contents
Elizabeth and Leicester Preface
1. 'Some secret constellation': 1533-1536
2. 'Her eighth year': 1536-1547
3. 'The occasion of his utter undoing': 1547-1553
4. 'This night I think to die': 1553-1559
5. 'The King that is to be': spring 1559-summer 1560
6. 'So sudden a chance': autumn 1560
7. 'Maiden honour and integrity': 1560-1561
8. 'Not yet towards a marriage': 1561-1565
9. 'Majesty and love do not sit well together': 1565-1567
10. 'The daughter of debate': 1568-1569
11. 'The great Lord': the 1570s
12. 'Our estate requireth a match': 1570-1572
13. 'I have long both loved and liked you': 1573-1575
14. 'Dishonorable brutes': 1576-1579
15. 'The greatest prince in Christendom': 1578-1582
16. 'In times of distress': 1582-1584
17. 'Her Majesty will make trial of me': 1585-1588
18. 'A thing whereof we can admit no comfort': 1588
19. 'To end this life for her service'
Appendix I: The second Robert Dudley
Appendix II: The Arthur Dudley mystery
Afterword: some fictional treatments
Notes on sources
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