Elizabeth I, the "People's Queen", reigned over an exciting new age of exploration, discovery, artistic brilliance, architectural achievement and foreign conquest. An unmarried queen in a male-dominated age, she surrounded herself with the ablest, most energetic and fearless minds in the kingdom, constantly inspiring and encouraging them. This work opens with an overview of the reigns of the first four Tudor monarchs and the author emphasizes just how much England was in need of a strong charismatic ruler, particularly after the disastrous reign of "Bloody Mary". Subsequent chapters examine the make-up of the royal court and the personality of Elizabeth herself, showing how her perilous path to the throne taught her much which was to stand her in good stead as Queen. The main focus of the book is Elizabeth's relationships with key men in her kingdom - statesmen such as William Cecil and Francis Walsingham; seafarers and explorers such as Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh; suitors such as Robert Dudley and Christopher Hatton; men of God such as Matthew Parker and John Whitgift; scholars such as Roger Asham and Francis Bacon; and creators such as John Donne and William Shakespeare.
Peter Brimacombe outlines the achievements of each, revealing above all, the Queen's superb judgement of human nature.