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Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend Hardcover – March 31, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'With this landmark book, Mark Nicholls and Penry Williams debunk the legends, giving us instead a story that is all the more engrossing for its sophistication.'
(The Sunday Times)

'This is a thorough biography.' (John Hinton The Catholic Herald)

'Even in our own times, Ralegh has hardly lacked for either scholarly or popular interpreters, this new biography, learned and accessible in equal measure, is nonetheless highly welcome. It will surely become the standard starting point for any one interested in his career and writings.'
(Literary Review)

'There is so much more to Ralegh, more than one column — or one book — can cover. But Nicholls and Williams have given us a set of Ralegh stories that could keep us busy for a lifetime.'
(thepilot.com)

Nicholls and Williams seek to dismember many myths that have grown around Raleigh yet in a book of great depth probe the ambitious and adventurous character of a man who was deeply interested in the New World... a tribute to [Raleigh] and his absorbing life. (The Oxford Times)

'With this landmark book, Mark Nicholls and Penry Williams debunk the legends, giving us instead a story that is all the more engrossing for its sophistication.’
(Sanford Lakoff)

'Even in our own times, Ralegh has hardly lacked for either scholarly or popular interpreters, this new biography, learned and accessible in equal measure, is nonetheless highly welcome. It will surely become the standard starting point for any one interested in his career and writings.’
(Sanford Lakoff)

'There is so much more to Ralegh, more than one column — or one book — can cover. But Nicholls and Williams have given us a set of Ralegh stories that could keep us busy for a lifetime.’
(Sanford Lakoff)

Nicholls and Williams are excellent on the narrative... they really come into their own in the accounts of the in-fighting at court and the way they bring out Ralegh's charisma and his duplicity. (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Mark Nicholls is President and Librarian of St John's College, Cambridge.
Honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford. Sometime Lecturer in History at the University of Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (March 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144111209X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441112095
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,575,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a compulsively readable biography of a fascinating life, and like any fine biography it takes one on a colorful tour of the period in which the subject lived. Raleigh's life was beyond remarkable; his achievements as a poet, prose writer, favorite at the Court of Queen Elizabeth, adventurer and explorer, soldier and sea captain are simply beyond amazing. And this book opens up that enormous story in such a way as to make it more exciting than a novel. I'm not qualified to judge the authors' conclusions on controversial points about the life of Raleigh, but I do want to say with great enthusiasm that this is beautifully written, and great fun. It's as solid as any academic biography and the prose is easy and accessible for the common reader. Highly recommended. It's answering every question I ever had about Raleigh and has me searching for biographies of those who lives intersected with Raleigh's. A marvelous achievement. (The hardcover is beautifully packaged as well. Would make an impressive gift.) This cries to be adapted for television as a high quality series.
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Format: Hardcover
I am not a professional historian by any stretch -- and perhaps this book represents scholarly as opposed to popular biography -- but I found this book difficult to get through, and unsatisfying in retrospect. It seemed to be a hotchpotch of details of fact, conjecture, and speculation which failed to coalesce into a coherent, readable, and memorable perspective on the man. Perhaps this is just the way it is when our information is so incomplete and inconsistent, but I was disappointed. Perhaps the authors assumed more from their intended audience than I could bring to my reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very (too?) detailed biography. I was hoping for more on Raleigh the explorer. Much detail about his legal troubles, and some of it was interesting.
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