characters The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I ✓ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB


The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I

Summary The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I

Ollow Her Majesty's agents through the streets of London and Rome and into the dank cells of the Tower We see the world as they saw it ever unsure who could be trusted or when the fatal knock on their own door might come The Watchers is a riveting exploration of loyalty faith betrayal and deception with the highest possible stakes in a world poised between the Middle Ages and moderni. For some reason I randomly became obsessed with Elizabethan spycraft in the last week so of course I had to read this And for the most part this book had what I wanted There is an insane level of detail here; many many documents get referenced I also liked how the author explained all of the broader concepts at work as well for those of us who don't know off the top of our head the politics of Philip's Spanish court Yes there is an obvious bias but it's so mundane that it didn't really affect my reading Alford may be in love with Phelippes just saying But anyway I think this book gave a very comprehensive overview of the state of espionage in Elizabethan England as well as a pretty good idea of what the political climate was like It would probably be a great source that leads to MANY great sources but I really did read it for fun And I do have to say that Alford makes his subject very accessible so that reading it wasn't a chore and was actually enjoyableMy only slight annoyance was how much he would focus on one particular person and then completely forget them later on If you're going to give me someone's life story you have to finish it Other than that there is very little to complain about here

Free read ✓ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ô Stephen Alford

In a Europe aflame with wars of religion and dynastic conflicts Elizabeth I came to the throne of a realm encircled by menace To the great Catholic powers of France and Spain England was a heretic pariah state a canker to be cut away for the health of the greater body of Christendom Elizabeth's government defending God's true Church of England and its leader the ueen could stop at no. Elizabeth I reigned for a total of 45 years in England and the stability she gave as head of state gave us the Golden Age of wealth and greater self assurance as a nation The final Tudor monarch saw a cultural advances too this being the time of Shakespeare and military confidence on the high seas However the Europeans saw her very differently; as daughter of Anne Boylen Henry VIII's second wife she was considered a bastard and Protestant heretic by catholic Europe Following her denouncement by the Pope various European rulers prepared plans to dispose her replacing her with Mary The event that most people are aware of is the almost invasion by The Spanish Armada but throughout her reign she was protected by a team of loyal subjectsThese men were a motley bunch of ambassadors codebreakers and confidence men and spies who used all sort of covert and overt methods to counter the catholic threat Infiltrators were sent to the continent to ingratiate themselves with the church uncovering conspiracies both real and imagined identified and followed gentlemen who were plotting the overthrow of their ueen The network tracked priests entering the country under cover intercepted and deciphered almost all correspondence between suspects in England and their contacts in France Spain and Italy and neutered the threat that hung over the crownDrawing on documents from archive and collections Alford shines a light into this dark and shadowy time of history The narrative details tense searches across the countryside looking for specific people who were perceived to be a threat to the crown Traitors who were convicted sometimes only on hearsay and confessions uttered under torture on the rack were condemned in horrific ways to die It is an interesting account of those involved in keeping their monarch safe from all the assassination attempts and plots but at times was fairly complicated as he details all the people involved in these plots Worth reading though for those that like their Tudor history

Stephen Alford ô 7 Free download

Thing to defend itselfHeaded by the brilliant enigmatic and widely feared Sir Francis Walsingham the Elizabethan state deployed every dark art spies double agents cryptography and torture Delving deeply into sixteenth century archives Stephen Alford offers a groundbreaking chillingly vivid depiction of Elizabethan espionage literally recovering it from the shadows In his company we f. I really enjoyed this book The subtitle is a secret history of the reign of Elizabeth I but I feel that doesn't actually explain just what an insightful but accessible book this one is It includes some really fascinating details on spies and spying in Elizabethan Europe but it also describes the state of almost perpetual paranoia during a period of history which Hollywood likes to glamorize as the golden age of monarchy It wasn't a golden age Elizabeth maintained a dazzling but strict distance from the majority of her advisors and from the plebs which made her appear all the awe inspiring and she was definitely an extremely intelligent astute and ruthless individual who aimed to find outcomes to the issues of the day which put her in the best possible position with little effort on her behalf which I can only admire but for me the real heroes appear to be the astonishingly clever worldly and subtle administrators They worked to protect the aura of majesty around the ueen and keep safe both her and the hard won religious freedom of an England surrounded by Catholics The Great Armada was not the climax in English Spanish military history I was taught at school but simply one battle in a long cold war which occasionally boiled over and was only extinguished when James Stuart came to the throne complete with his ready made heirs and finally resolved the agonies of the Tudor succession well for a generation or two at least This almost obsessive passion for maintaining the Protestant religious freedom of England was something which James II the grandson of James Stuart nor Charles I to a lesser extent never understood but which Charles II understood to his bonesI understand the religious history of the age at least to a certain extent but this book brought it alive for me Think of a relatively minor new religion or cult today and imagine that a president or prime minister decides that for their own expediency this new religion is going to be what everyone in that country must follow Now imagine after a bloody tussle of a few decades of back and forth all the non believers are essentially persecuted into exile Some of them will decide to make their homes where they land but others will do all they can to go home on their own terms whilst maintaining loyalty to the government and others will do all they can to destroy the government in the name of the old religion Other countries see this an opportunity to invade and take the heretic country for themselves it's not particularly wealthy but its geographic location makes it important for trade and it has been supporting insurgentsterrorists overseas for years and they spend money and time and decades trying to do so That is the picture of Elizabethan Europe you get from this bookThis book is also interesting for its descriptions of how espionage was actually physically carried out in the 16th century It surprised me how much is resembled modern espionage It relied upon having well placed non descript individuals either motivated by overwhelming loyalty or vast wads of money or threatened into spying They wrote their reports encrypted them and shipped them to their handlers who then pieced them together to try and form an accurate picture of threats so they could device counterpolicy Essentially what happens nowGreat book I could go on for ever about how much I got out of it 5 stars It was amazing

  • Hardcover
  • 416
  • The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I
  • Stephen Alford
  • English
  • 12 February 2019
  • 9781608190096

About the Author: Stephen Alford

Stephen Alford FRHistS born 1970 is a British historian and academic He has been professor of early modern British history at the University of Leeds since 2012 Educated at the University of St Andrews he was formerly a British Academy Post doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge 1997–99 and junior research fellow of Fitzwilliam College Cambridge and between 1999 and 2012


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