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Elizabeth and Essex

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"A sensitive and lively account of one of the most politically significant relationships of the Elizabethan age". Lisa Hopkins, author of Essex: The Life and Times of an Elizabethan Courtier.

Elizabeth I is England's most iconic queen. Born to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and declared illegitimate at two, she was also one of its unlikeliest monarchs. Though she never married, her relationships have been the stuff of Hollywood movies, biographical studies, and historical fiction.

Famously a Virgin Queen, Elizabeth faced rumour, innuendo, and scandal both during her life and in the centuries since. Her relationship with her last courtly lover, however, remains mystifying. The glamorous Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior, became her inseparable companion, wrote loving letters and poetry to her, and dominated the last decade of her reign. But did he love her, or was he simply taking advantage of a vain, ageing woman?

As the fabric of her reign unravelled, Elizabeth fought to keep her court under control. Using a curious system of power, patronage, and politics that had served her for decades, she struggled to maintain her hard-won sovereignty against the incursions of idealistic and factious young men.

But the story of Elizabeth and Essex is not one of cynicism, and nor is it one of vanity or ambition. It is the tale of a younger man's possessive love for a woman who had to refashion herself as a new queen in an old kingdom.

Theirs was a tragic game of passion, jealousy, resentment, and division.

He shone in the light of the Elizabethan age, and she was its fading sun.

Drawing on letters, legal records, poetry, and scholarly debates, Steven Veerapen reveals a saga of courtly love, political machination, and simmering power struggles. In doing so, he recovers Elizabeth and Essex from the mists of rumour and speculation and reveals them as they were. Essex was neither fool nor cynical manipulator, but the era's last folk hero. She was not a white-painted harridan, but an astute and beguiling woman whom time was leaving behind.

The story of Elizabeth I's last years requires reassessment. By re-framing her as a woman forced into the role of history's Virgin Queen and Essex as the loving and beloved star which threatened her eclipse, Elizabeth and Essex provides a new perspective on England's most famous queen.

Steven Veerapen holds a Ph.D. in Elizabethan literature and is the author of Blood Feud: The Story of Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl of Moray, A Dangerous Trade: An Elizabethan Spy Thriller and The Abbey Close Mystery Series.

Praise for Steven Veerapen:
"A slow-burn character driven spy story that grips like a thumbscrew tightened by twist after twist towards the end - Le Carre transported to the 1560's. Brilliant work, based in impressively wide research and the kind of competition that I and a good number of others could well do without!" Peter Tonkin, author of A Stage For Murder

"Much-needed analysis of a sinister sibling rivalry." Marie Macpherson, author of The First Blast of the Trumpet

Used availability for Steven Veerapen's Elizabeth and Essex

Paperback Editions

May 2019 : Paperback

Title: Elizabeth and Essex: Power, Passion, and Politics
Author(s): Steven Veerapen
ISBN: 1-09-912818-8 / 978-1-09-912818-9
Publisher: Independently published
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

April 2019 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Elizabeth and Essex: Power, Passion, and Politics
Author(s): Steven Veerapen
Publisher: Sharpe Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU