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The Watchers
The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I | Stephen Alford
3 posts | 3 read | 1 reading
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 queen, could stop at nothing to defend itself.Headed 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 follow 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 modernity.
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review
led567
Pickpick

This is a very readable history book about a gripping period and a particularly interesting aspect of it. Liked the way he helps the reader see things the way Elizabeth‘s advisers saw them, though wasn‘t sure about the bit at the beginning where he imagines what would happen if she had died earlier than she did. Lots of personalities brought to life. I lost track sometimes but guess that‘s my fault! Good idea to have short chapters.

CoffeeNBooks Welcome to Litsy! 📚 12mo
2 likes1 comment
blurb
led567

Picking this up where I left off on p. 139 c 2 months ago. Hope I can maintain concentration this time, may have to re-read previous chapter, and no reading when tired!

review
Ceciliaslibrary
post image
Pickpick

A little dry in some places and doesn't flow as well as it could but still a really interesting part of history about Tudor spy craft. Definitely give it a go.