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renaissance studies
British history

The Elizabethans

A.N. Wilson.
Publisher Arrow  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7.75 x 5 x 1.1 inches
ISBN 9780099547143
Pages/Publication Date 432/2011
Daedalus Item Code 52594
This item is not available.
This sweeping panorama of the Elizabethan age from the author of The Victorians and Dante in Love reveals a time of strange and remarkable personages and vast political and social change. Along with the complex character of the Virgin Queen herself, A.N. Wilson 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.

"In Wilson's hands these familiar stories make for gripping reading."NYTBR (editors' choice)

"Whether plumbing the mind of the Virgin Queen herself, characterizing her courtiers, or capturing England's social ferment through the prelates, poets, and buccaneers of the period, Wilson exudes energy that matches the excitement and anxiety Elizabethans felt about their times. How individuals responded to precarious exigencies, such as Elizabeth's succession and adjurations to adhere to Elizabeth's official church, elicits Wilson's incisive imaginings of Elizabethan mentalities in a superstitious and violent age. Hence he dwells on the magus John Dee, recounts draconian methods and instances of justice, and addresses harsh English policies in Ireland, stridently supported by the anti-Irish Edmund Spenser. Yet Spenser also wrote the allegorical Faerie Queene and so embodies for Wilson the difficulties contemporary readers confront in understanding complexities within the Elizabethan mind-set. Viewed through the likes of Marlowe and Shakespeare, Drake and Raleigh, the elements that awe or appall moderns become manifest in Wilson's supple and fluent synthesis."Booklist

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