Few relationships fire our imagination like that of Elizabeth I and her 'bonnie sweet Robin' - the Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley.
Almost immediately after she became queen, Elizabeth's infatuation with the married Earl became the subject of letters from scandalized ambassadors. And when Dudley's wife, Amy, died a mere two years later under suspicious circumstances many speculated that Elizabeth and Robert would marry.
They never did, although by the time Robert died he had been Elizabeth's councillor and commander of her army, had sat by her bed in sickness and represented her on state occasions. But she had also humiliated him, made him dance attendance on her other suitors, and tried to have him clapped in prison when he finally broke loose and married again.
Elizabeth and Leicester is a portrait - at times a startlingly intimate one - of the tie between two of the people who forced their age; of a relationship where, unusually, a woman held all the power; of an edgy yet enduring love that still speaks to us today.
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A fascinating portrait of power, love and royalty in dangerous times -
Quite simply one of the most enthralling history books I've ever read ... a convincing and captivating portrayal of the Virgin Queen and the man who meant more to her than any other. You must read this! -
Gristwood disentangles the many myths and stories that have been spun about the life-long love and loyalty between the queen and her 'Sweet Robin'. - DAILY TELEGRAPH
[A] vivacious and absorbing study - SUNDAY TIMES
Vivid and lively - DAILY MAIL
An accessible, thought-provoking portrait - SCOTTISH SUNDAY HERALD
Heaving with detail and anecdote, Elizabeth and Leicester plunges us into the turbulent Tudor world and makes absorbing reading -
This is the first scholarly examination of this relationship for fifty years and it makes compelling reading. -
This has to be the last word on that much-discussed (then and now) relationship between the Virgin Queen and her favourite, Robert Dudley...It's gripping. -
After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood worked as a journalist specializing in the arts and women's issues. She is a regular contributor to The Times, Guardian, Independent and Evening Standard. Arbella, her historical biography of Arbella Stuart, the first cousin of Elizabeth I and heir to her throne, was widely acclaimed in hardcover and now available in Bantam paperback.