‘You have lived like a Star, at which the World hath Gazed.’
Sir Walter Raleigh was one of the most divisive figures of the Tudor period; instrumental in the colonisation of North America, the destruction of the Spanish Armada, and the popularisation of tobacco in England, he is held up as a symbol of the Elizabethan age. Known in the Tudor Courts as much for his immoral attitude yet expansive achievements, Sir Anthony Bagot dubbed him ‘the best-hated man in the world’.
Margaret Irwin combines her skills as a historian and novelist to document the life and deeds of this polarising figure in all his glory. Offering a portrait of the man who truly embodied the Renaissance ideals of the Elizabethan age, Irwin explores the many sides to Raleigh: the explorer, the sailor, the advisor, the literary patron, and above all, the pioneer.
A noted authority on Elizabethan England, Irwin conquers Raleigh’s tale with wit and dexterity, weaving Raleigh’s own journals into a broader historical context. From the glory filled days under Elizabeth I to his loss of favour and eventual execution under James I, this epic biography is an enthralling account of one of the most significant figures in British history.