Her Majesty's Spymaster

Her Majesty's Spymaster

Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage

Book - 2005
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Sir Francis Walsingham’s official title was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I, but in fact this pious, tight-lipped Puritan was England’s first spymaster. A ruthless, fiercely loyal civil servant, Walsingham worked brilliantly behind the scenes to foil Elizabeth’s rival Mary Queen of Scots and outwit Catholic Spain and France, which had arrayed their forces behind her.Though he cut an incongruous figure in Elizabeth’s worldly court, Walsingham managed to win the trust of key players like William Cecil and the Earl of Leceister before launching his own secret campaign against the queen’s enemies. Covert operations were Walsingham’s genius; he pioneered techniques for exploiting double agents, spreading disinformation, and deciphering codes with the latest code-breaking science that remain staples of international espionage.In the taut narrative of a spy novel, Budiansky recounts how this legendary spymaster invented the art and science of modern espionage—and in the process set Elizabethan England on the path to empire.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2005
ISBN: 9780670034260
0670034266
Branch Call Number: ANF 327.420092 BUD
Characteristics: xvii, 235 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 22 cm

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BlueHippo
Mar 18, 2013

Interesting. Sometimes strays from the actual point of the book (i.e., telling about Walsingham's spying escapades), but overall very god read. Good reference materials such as lists of characters, maps, etc.

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GummiGirl
Dec 06, 2011

For those with a basic knowledge of Elizabethan history, this is an interesting book. Note that although the Queen is a major presence (along with Mary Queen of Scots), it's really about Walsingham.

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