Wilson shares his appreciation for the Earl of Leicester. His role as a leading spirit of the Reformation and as an early patron of what becomes known as Elizabethan Drama has been overshadowed by his unique relationship with the Queen. The book explains his roots, his passions, his successes and limitations and the personal and financial cost of his association with the queen. The reader gets insight into his character and his relationship with Elizabeth.
This compares well with the new publication Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics. Of the two, this one, humanizes Dudley such that the reader understands more of what Elizabeth saw in him. Wilson deals more powerfully with the attachment of these two star crossed would be lovers and you feel the loss and disappointment the two shared. Gristwood sticks with the record.
I would give this 5 stars but the beginning is so slow and genealogy laiden that I almost put it down. Throughout there are long quotes from original sources. I presume the long quotes are there to give the reader a feel for the sentiments as they are directly expressed, but many are so formal and tortured that they only demonstrate why general readers need historians like Wilson and Gristwood to interpret them for us.
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