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William Cecil, Lord Burghley (1520-1598) was Elizabeth I's closest adviser and, as this revealing and provocative biography shows, the driving force behind the Queen's reign for four decades.Cecil, the steadfast rock of Elizabeth's government, had a deep and personal impact on the development of the English state. A committed Protestant, he guided the domestic and foreign affairs of the nation with the confidence of his religious conviction. Believing himself to be the divinely-instigated protector of his monarch, he felt able to disobey her direct commands. He was uncompromising, obsessive, supremely self-assured - a cunning politician as well as a consummate servant. This comprehensive biography gives proper weight to Cecil's formative years, his subtle navigation of the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I, his lifelong enmity with Mary Queen of Scots, and his obsession with family dynasty. It also provides a fresh account of Elizabeth I and her reign, uncovering limitations and concerns about invasion, succession and conspiracy. Intimate, authoritative, and enormously readable, this book will redefine our understanding of the Elizabethan period.
Yale University Press
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