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Sir Walter Raleigh: Being a True and Vivid Account of the Life and Times of the Explorer, Soldier, Scholar, Poet, and Courtier--The Controversial Hero of the Elizabethian Age Hardcover – January 3, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trevelyan (The Fortress; Rome '44), a direct descendant of Sir Walter Raleigh, has written an exhaustive, indeed overlong, and at times too reverential biography of his legendary ancestor. Raleigh (1554-1618) was the prototypical Renaissance man: he explored the Americas, he was a poet and historian, an Elizabethan courtier, a soldier who fought the Spanish and an effective government administrator. Raleigh was also, notes Trevelyan, extremely ambitious and proud, thus making powerful enemies. Raleigh came from humble beginnings and made his first mark as a soldier. Trevelyan cites at length from Raleigh's poetry, which he wrote to flatter Queen Elizabeth. In 1584, Raleigh sponsored a voyage to the territory known as Virginia, where he founded the first American colony, the ill-fated Roanoke settlement. He also helped defend England against the 1588 Spanish Armada. In 1591, Raleigh made the mistake of secretly marrying one of the queen's servants. A jealous Elizabeth had him and his wife thrown into the Tower. After his release, he explored Guiana, and Trevelyan does an excellent job recreating the journey using Raleigh's writings. His enemies, especially Robert Cecil, were smearing him to the future King James I, who, when he took the throne in 1603, put Raleigh on trial for treason; he was found guilty. Trevelyan convincingly asserts that the charges were trumped up, a mere pretext for eliminating a political rival. King James let Raleigh live, but he spent 13 years in the Tower and was finally beheaded in 1618. Trevelyan's meticulously researched narrative will be informative for anyone looking to learn more about Elizabethan England and one of its most influential characters. 16 pages of b&w photos, maps.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

A good biography will immerse readers in an era, and this massive work provides a cogent look at Elizabethan England as Trevelyan suspends Walter Raleigh's life in the tensions of the time. Literary and humane, a kind, even uxorious, husband, Raleigh was also as ruthless as they come, involved at one point or other in massacres, executions, battles, plundering, and merciless expropriation in Ireland. He came out of these exertions rich, a commoner who rose to the heights of society for a time as Elizabeth I's favorite courtier. Trevelyan reveals Raleigh's ambition in meticulous detail as he describes Raleigh's projects of colonization in the New World and warfare against Spain in the Old, for which Raleigh will always be legendary. He experienced innumerable controversies, which Trevelyan explains exhaustively, drawing copiously from Raleigh's verse, prose, and archives. This thorough and accomplished work is the new standard for Raleighana. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product details

  • Publisher : Henry Holt and Co.; 1st American Edition (January 3, 2004)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 640 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 080507502X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0805075021
  • Item Weight : 2.4 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.38 x 2.12 x 9.54 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
27 global ratings
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