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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ciphers, secrets and spies
Alan Haynes is a great writer; his books are meticulously researched, and he makes the subjects accessible. You get the impression that he's passionate about what he writes about, and this is good news for the reader.
From the first page to the last page of this book I was hooked. Secret services and spies always make for interesting reading, but this period of...
Published on 22 Nov 2004 by Sometimes Things Get Whatever

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject. Poor writing
I agree with another reviewer: while the subject matter is fascinating, the author Alan Haynes somehow manages to stifle the enthusiasm, perhaps due to his inadequate writing skills. The book lacks an overall coherence and the author's gluey expressions and cumbersome syntax make it a slog to read. Where was the copy-editor?
Published on 29 Feb 2012 by Critic #62


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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ciphers, secrets and spies, 22 Nov 2004
This review is from: The Elizabethan Secret Service (Paperback)
Alan Haynes is a great writer; his books are meticulously researched, and he makes the subjects accessible. You get the impression that he's passionate about what he writes about, and this is good news for the reader.
From the first page to the last page of this book I was hooked. Secret services and spies always make for interesting reading, but this period of espionage, I find, is the most interesting. How did spies work without tiny cameras and bugs?... It's all about real intelligence work; dangerous and usually life-threatening. The Throckmorton and Babington plots are detailed, as well as the Rodrigo Lopez and the Giordano Bruno/French Embassy cases. Plus all the court intrigues involving the earls of Northumberland, Essex and Leicester, and the spymasters Burghley and Walsingham - it's all here with the smallest details. (I can also recommend Haynes's Walsingham biography for further reading.)
I found it easy to get into, and it kept my interest held throughout. It's a book that I know I will return to again and again to reference certain events. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject. Poor writing, 29 Feb 2012
I agree with another reviewer: while the subject matter is fascinating, the author Alan Haynes somehow manages to stifle the enthusiasm, perhaps due to his inadequate writing skills. The book lacks an overall coherence and the author's gluey expressions and cumbersome syntax make it a slog to read. Where was the copy-editor?
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting informative read., 16 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Elizabethan Secret Service (Paperback)
The book came on time and was in excellent condition having also been well packaged. It is a wonderful analysis of a fascinating service which grew to foreshadow our own secret services today - and they could learn much from it set-up and operation.
It was easy to read and prepare a lecture from it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 23 April 2013
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TIM SULLIVAN (OXSHOTT, SURREY United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Not dissimilar to "HER Majesty's Spy master". Really for enthusiasts of the era rather than general reading. but none the less absorbing
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars writing!, 7 Jun 2011
As I was really looking forward to some detail after reading a book about catholic priests in Elizabethan times this was a great dissappointment. Not that information isn't there. It's just so badly written: little structure and coherance. There is little obvious stucture to the division into chapters, nor within each chapter. Extreemly hard to follow, and appears to asume that you have a good knowledge of events and people of the time.
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The Elizabethan Secret Service
The Elizabethan Secret Service by Alan Haynes (Paperback - 14 Oct 2004)
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