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The Reluctant Ambassador: The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Chaloner, Tudor Diplomat Hardcover – 15 May 2016
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About the Author
Dan O'Sullivan is a retired history teacher and lecturer. He gained his degrees in history from the universities of Cambridge and East Anglia. He has previously published Tudor Britain and In Search of Captain Cook (Taurus).
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
. Born of a merchant father, student at Cambridge, speaking French, Spanish and Italian as well a his native English tongue, Chaloner was also fluent in Latin.. Bit by bit Chaloner climbed the ladder of the then English diplomatic corps. In so doing he met the Emperors Charles V and Ferdinand II and, at the end of his career as resident ambassador to Spain, Philip II. His activities included membership in a commission to settle a border dispute with Scotland and reporting on the French religious wars.
The life of a 16th Century diplomat was not easy being often short of funds, being ignorant of current events because of slow moving mail It also involved enormous travel mostly on horseback. What interested me most the meticulous accounts kept by Chaloner of expenses in roman rather than arabic numerals. There are discussions of the various coins in circulation during this period as well as large excerpts from Chaloner's diplomatic personal correspondence both to and from.
Chaloner composed verses in Latin which, among other things, was the diplomatic language of the day. The author has included relevant family trees as well as a time line linking his subject's whereabouts to important events of the day. Less interesting to me were the chapters on Chaloner's friends, including William Cecil, Elizabeth's most trusted counselor, and his literary activities. A first rate book filling out important details of one of the most interesting periods of English history.