FREE DOC ✓ READER The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I ☆ 9781608190096 ô HELPYOUANTIB

Stephen Alford ✓ The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I READER

FREE DOC ✓ READER The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I ☆ 9781608190096 ô HELPYOUANTIB Í [PDF] ✐ The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I By Stephen Alford – In a Europe aflame wiOllow Her Majesty's agents through the streets of London and Rome and into the dank cells of the Tower We see the world as they saw it ever unsure who could be trusted or when the fatal knock on their own door might come The Watchers is a riveting exploration of loyalty faith betrayal and deception with the highest possible stakes in a world poised between the Middle Ages and moderni Sent this book by the publishers I really looked forward to reading what’s ostensibly a behind the scenes account of ueen Elizabeth I’s reign but from the point of view of the “watchers” that is reporters listeners spies – the men whose speciality was espionage Elizabethan times it turns out are notorious for their extensive use of spies and networks all of which were established to protect England and ensure the ueen’s successful reign As Alford writes in the introduction while Elizabeth and her council worked hard to maintain “clever and persuasive projections of political stability empire self confidence and national myth” there was in fact “a darker story set against a Europe divided and oppressed by religious conflict civil war and the ambitions of kings and princes”Taking the crown after her half sister “Bloody Mary” tried to purge the Protestant stain and trying to stabilise an England divided by religious schism and rapidly changing succession Elizabeth’s job was not easy Declaring England as Protestant but claiming that Catholicism would be tolerated Elizabeth nonetheless was acutely aware of how precarious her position as ruler and religious head of a reeling nation was Plots to declare her rule invalid assassination attempts never mind trying to overthrow Elizabeth and place Mary ueen of Scots on the throne abounded Then there was the job of trying to find Elizabeth a suitable husband all of which meant that though the kingdom flourished in terms of exploration the humanities and arts there was also a seething underbelly that threatened to erupt and destroy everything at any time The greatest threat was that of the Catholics who discontent with Elizabeth’s heretical leadership and perceiving it as ungodly sought to rid themselves of Henry VIII’s daughter and restore the “true religion” Working from within their homeland their overseas networks were extensive travelling across Europe and involving some of the most powerful people abroad as well The stage is thus set for espionage betrayal treason propaganda secrets torture faith martyrdom and lies all of which Sir Francis Walsingham and his successors sought to control Carefully researched and very well written this book is an eye opener that also makes the mind boggle The lengths to which various individuals would go to inveigle themselves into Catholic families or communities in order to uncover plots and treasons were phenomenal Conspirators were discovered freuently many from noble families The Throckmorton plot was one of the most famous and this is covered in detail throughout the book Fascinating in its complexity and the degree of commitment and sacrifice believers were ready to make uncovering it was to prove an even greater triumphThe book goes onto explore the stories derring do successes and failures of many spies and traitors how far they were willing to go disguise denying their identities for long periods sacrificing family and a “normal” life for little reward and from these we also learn how disposed Walsingham and his men were to use torture to uncover secrets and plots and how brutal their interrogation methods were Some of the spies or intelligencers were gentleman and even poets others were criminals but many were chameleons able to shift camouflage themselves and change with subtlety There was William Parry Thomas Phelippes Gilbery Gifford Chrales Sledd Sir Robert Cecil Burghley simply to name a few forgive my memory names both known and unknown to history buffs Perhaps for those names less familiar it’s testimony to how well they performed their roles – they disappeared not simply into the woodwork but became lost in the pages of history and time until Alford recovers them Uncovering the plots and deeds of desperate men these watchers brought many to trial and death and in doing so ensured Elizabeth’s long reign Utilising surviving records Alford has done an amazing job and recreated in detail a tumultuous but fascinating period Almost akin to a Renaissance version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I found this book fascinating challenging to keep track of the different names and roles but also a wonderful insight into what occurs behind the doors under the tables and in the shadows and whispers of a colourful and deceptively confidant ueen’s reign Like an ice berg it was the seven eights we didn’t see that ensured the topmost part remained afloat Alford has given us access to that which we don’t normally witness and exposed the intricacy and deadly seriousness of spying in Elizabethan times A great read for history buffs writers anyone who loves tales of espionage and appreciates solid research delivered in an entertaining and engaging manner 45 stars

MOBI ð The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I ✓ Stephen Alford

In a Europe aflame with wars of religion and dynastic conflicts Elizabeth I came to the throne of a realm encircled by menace To the great Catholic powers of France and Spain England was a heretic pariah state a canker to be cut away for the health of the greater body of Christendom Elizabeth's government defending God's true Church of England and its leader the ueen could stop at no This review also appears on The Mad ReviewerFull disclosure Bloomsbury sent me a free print copy in exchange for an honest review of this bookI don’t read nearly as much nonfiction as I would like so The Watchers was both a refreshing change from YA novels and a great book in its own right For someone who knows a decent amount about the Tudors and Medieval England I was shocked at how big of a role spying played back then It wasn’t just basic spying either it was sophisticated and at times incredibly complicated Stephen Alford has documented the lives of some of the main players in the spy game from the talented to the incompetent the eccentric to the boringAlthough Alford’s writing can get a bit choppy here and there as he jumps from spy to spy he does tie things up well at the end of the chapters and at the very end of the book Despite the head hopping the writing style itself was very engaging for a nonfiction writer and made The Watchers far enjoyableTo illustrate his point that spying was very important in Tudor England he had a very lengthy introduction imagining a scenario in which spies did not exist and Elizabeth I really had been assassinated I would have liked for the introduction to be cut down slightly but Alford certainly did make his point wellOne thing I really liked about The Watchers is that Alford isn’t telling a completely one sided story of the struggle of Protestants to protect their ueen from evil Catholics We get to see how the Protestant agents felt about their missions but also get to see things from the point of view of Catholic exiles it’s rare to find such balanced nonfiction these days but Alford managed it The political triumphs of courtiers like Lord Burghley are balanced by accounts of the terrible torture captured Catholics faced Alford does not depict a picture of a Golden Age as most books about Elizabethan England seem to and we get to see that the ugly side of the Golden Age was uite ugly at times It’s nice to find a realistic portrayal of the timesOverall The Watchers is a great book for both newcomers to history and old hats at it Personally I’m looking forward to any future books Stephen Alford publishesI give this book 455 stars rounded up to 5 stars for the purpose of Goodreads ratings

EPUB The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I

The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth IThing to defend itselfHeaded by the brilliant enigmatic and widely feared Sir Francis Walsingham the Elizabethan state deployed every dark art spies double agents cryptography and torture Delving deeply into sixteenth century archives Stephen Alford offers a groundbreaking chillingly vivid depiction of Elizabethan espionage literally recovering it from the shadows In his company we f “The Watchers” gives us a very different view of Elizabethan England than we or at least I are used to Instead of Shakespeare Marlowe Ben Jonson and the university wits there is the constant threat of invasion and the first stirrings of a centralized police state Elizabeth is not the Gloriana of Spenser’s “Faerie ueen” but a headstrong monarch who put her kingdom at risk by refusing to name a successor While the arts flourished voyages of discovery sent out and everyone went to the theater—except when they were closed by the plague—there were undercurrents of treachery perfidy and treason The ueen might be assassinated Phillip of Spain’s armies might embark from the Low Countries and cross the narrow sea to land on English beaches and the horror of religious civil war could be imminent Mary ueen of Scots and cousin of Elizabeth would be freed from house arrest to rule as a Catholic monarch None of this happened; Stephen Alford does his best to show that it was due to the machinations of two men William Cecil and Francis Walsingham the ueen’s spymasters directors of the watchers of the title and the employers of spies turncoats and torturers Alford knows the sources has a firm sense of narrative and tells the story wellThree actions had to occur for the plot to succeed The ueen had to die preferably at the hand of a man claiming to be a loyal Englishman and devout Catholic Elizabeth had already been condemned as a heretic schismatic and bastard Mary her cousin had to be proclaimed the new ueen soon to marry a Catholic monarch from the continent either Phillip of Spain or the Duke of Guise of France and the army of a Catholic country had to invade while Catholic nobles from the north of England and Scotland raised a rebellion The plots were constant and Alford shows how Cecil and Walsingham’s spies in France and Italy kept track of them while their operatives in the ports kept watch for seditious literature produced by the émigré community and for priests trying to sneak into the country Alford begins with a counterfactual account of a successful assassination plot against the ueen in 1566 with the chaos and strife that would follow It sets up his thesis that all the spying torturing and killing that took place to keep Elizabeth safe was both necessary and proper He ends with the ueen dying in her bed and James IV of Scotland soon to be James I of England ready to accept the crown He was the son of her cousin Mary ueen of Scots sent to the block by Elizabeth in 1567 The peaceful succession was uietly arranged during Elizabeth’s last illness by Robert Cecil son of William Cecil and the new spymaster of the realm Note on the kindle edition it is necessary to use the Kindle Cloud app to actually see the illustrations As is always the case the kindle device is too small to render drawings and images of 16th century text legibly