For nearly 400 years, the true story behind Walter Ralegh's downfall, his conviction for high treason, and his eventual beheading has been shrouded in mystery. Was he deliberately set up by the brilliant Robert Cecil? Why did his friend Lord Cobham denounce him at his trial? And how could this towering figure of the Elizabethan age be accused of conspiring with his old enemy Spain to overthrow the king? Barrister and law professor Richard Dale here unravels the extraordinary plots and intrigues that marked the last months of Elizabeth's reign and the first weeks of James's succession. In the bitter struggle for position, wealth, and royal favor, only the most ruthless could hope to winóbut how did the dwarfish, hunchbacked Cecil prevail over the swashbuckling Raleigh? And which man does posterity now recognize as the real victor?
"An engaging and fascinating analysis of the Elizabethan court in general, and the intrigue surrounding the imprisonment and eventual execution of Sir Walter Ralegh in 1618 ... this is not only a thoughtful and precisely written work but also an adventure story that sweeps the reader into another world."óLaw Society Gazette