Elizabeth's Spymaster

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780753822487

Price: £12.99

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The incredible real life story of the world’s first super spy

‘Full of stimulating detail… vivid glimpses of the world of Elizabethan espionage’
GUARDIAN

‘Walsingham emerges from these pages as a hero of epic stature’ DAILY TELEGRAPH

Francis Walsingham was the first ‘spymaster’ in the modern sense. His methods anticipated those of MI5 and MI6 and even those of the KGB. He maintained a network of spies across Europe, including double-agents at the highest level in Rome and Spain – the sworn enemies of Queen Elizabeth and her Protestant regime. His entrapment of Mary Queen of Scots is a classic intelligence operation that resulted in her execution.

As Robert Hutchinson reveals, his cypher expert’s ability to intercept other peoples’ secret messages and his brilliant forged letters made him a fearsome champion of the young Elizabeth. Yet even this Machiavellian schemer eventually fell foul of Elizabeth as her confidence grew (and judgement faded). The rise and fall of Sir Francis Walsingham is a Tudor epic, vividly narrated by a historian with unique access to the surviving documentary evidence.

Reviews

An accessible, authoritative account of Francis Walsingham's life and work. Written with a sense of the dramatic... The author is very good at evoking the atmosphere of suspicion and paranoia during Elizabeth's reign and seems to relish describing the methods of torture at Walsingham's disposal and the brutality of the age. It makes Elizabethan statecraft immediate and entertaining
BOOK MAGAZINE
Robert Hutchinson's lucid and learned volume gives us a vivid portrait of Walsingham... an excellent book
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Compelling
LITERARY REVIEW
The strength of this book lies in its combination of brilliant original research with a compelling narrative
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW
Impeccably researched... the author has constructed what almost amounts to a thriller in this gripping narrative
GOOD BOOK GUIDE
Walsingham emerges from these pages as a hero of epic stature
DAILY TELEGRAPH
Full of stimulating detail... vivid glimpses of the world of Elizabethan espionage
Simon Calow, GUARDIAN
The story told here is intense and compelling
BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE
Hutchinson neatly combines his expert knowledge with an impressive narrative suspense and mordant sense of humour... A darkly informative read
WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY