Coming to the English throne at a time of insecurity and unrest, Elizabeth I appointed her secretary Sir Francis Walsingham as de facto spymaster. In this history, John Cooper recounts Walsingham's methodical creation of a network of agents in England and Europe who provided him with information about potential invasions or assassination plots. Cooper also delves into what is known of Walsingham's early life in an attempt to understand the mentality of a man who encouraged Elizabeth to wage a brutal war against the Catholic Irish rebels, as well as orchestrating and overseeing the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
"A superb new account of Walsingham and the Tudor age that paints a John le Carré-like world of double-dealing and intrigue.... In pages of crisp prose and with punctilious scholarship and vivid storytelling, [this book] brilliantly recreates Elizabethan England in all its cloak-and-dagger intrigue and glory."—The Sunday Telegraph (UK)