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Customer Review

on 21 January 2013
This is a very good portrait of Walsingham the man as well as the political agent. Cooper is an academic and negotiates his way with ease through the religious and political complexities of the sixteenth century. His writing style is cool and fluent, and he relishes the drama of his story without ever losing his sense of direction or moderation.

There have been a number of books fairly recently focusing on Walsingham, the religious wars of the sixteenth century, Elizabethan `spycraft', and the various plots around Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. This is far warmer on the subject of Walsingham the man than, for example, Sir Francis Walsingham: A Courtier in an Age of Terror as well as being more accessible in style. It also covers much of the same ground as The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I, again with a tighter focus on Walsingham rather than his agents.

If you want something that gives a sense of the personality of Walsingham as well as his deeds, and which recaps the historical, social and political background to the big events such as the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, this is an accessible and very enjoyable read.
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