The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I Free read Ø 109

Stephen Alford ↠ 9 Free read

The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I Free read Ø 109 â 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 awayThing 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. returnreturnthis is a study of how the leadership of the English government maintained an intelligence service to protect the realm in particular the Cecils and Sir Francis Walsingham I'll say up front that I had a couple of disappointments there is very little about Ireland and I'd hoped for at least a passing mention of John Bossy's Giordano Bruno theory and didn't get one But I was very satisfied with the overall detailed picture of the ueen's advisors determined to preserve her rule at all costs much ruthless than she would have been as witness her dithering over the execution of Mary ueen of Scots and also somewhat anti Catholic returnreturnIt's easy to overlook two very important facts about the historical situation first that nobody knew that Elizabeth would live to 1603 and the uncertainty about her succession which she deliberately fostered to some extent was profoundly destabilising to those who wanted to think ahead to the next reign; and second that information just did not really flow between countries there were no newspapers statesmen did not give interviews official communications between rulers and magnates had to be supplemented by intelligence gathered by agents in important centres abroad One of the tools of statecraft therefore was to have a widespread network of contacts who would demand regular payment in return for information; this still happens today of course but unlike today there was almost no OSINT to check the HUMINT against Another important point is that most of the information was channeled to the principals directly and never shown to anyone else except if really necessary the ueenreturnreturnGiven these two factors Alford makes it almost uncontroversial though of course potentially very dangerous that Walsingham essentially framed Mary ueen of Scots for execution through the Babington Plot; although Babington himself who was only 24 was clearly a rather slender reed for the restoration of Catholicism Mary was an ever present temptation for someone competent while she lived Walsingham and Cecil were ruthless but they had seen the St Bartholomew's Day massacre and indeed had perpetrated plenty of sectarian violence themselves; they knew perfectly well what awaited them in the event of a further change of official ideology Elizabethan England providing security at home for economic stability and some encouragement of culture at the cost of repression of the surviving loyalists to the former regime and paranoia about their foreign allies seems not so very different from Pinochet's Chile or the less corrupt Eastern European countries under Communism

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Ollow 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. This is a gossipy romp through Elizabethan spying The best part of the book is in the very beginning when the author describes a scenario where Elizabeth is assassinated and what might have happened as a result This is the terror the government lived with The fear that her spymasters felt becomes palpable and as a result I had a very good sense of why they acted as they did The book needs editing It's redundant in many places repeating information about individuals plots and basic history I am fine if say information is repeated from one chapter to the next but not from page to page or within the same chapter This is my main gripe with the book because of all the sins for an author to commit wasting my time is the absolute worst Rereading the same tidbits over and over again makes me stabbyIt reads as if it's cobbled together from lectures This isn't necessarily a bad thing but to a minister's daughter who grew up with sermons delivered with the slightly dramatic cadence of a university lecture it was as if my father were reading the book to me I doubt that's going to be an issue for most readers but it was definitely odd In reality I'd give this book 35 stars I'd subtract one for the redundancies and one half for the somewhat haphazard organization

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The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth IIn 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. The golden age of England underneath was a time when secrets were a form of currency just a precious as goldStephen Alford's The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I was an excellent book about one of my all time favorite eras of history the Tudor Reign I've read several books about the Tudors and this book showed that Elizabeth's rule was a precarious and fragile thing; the Protestant monarch had many enemies at home and abroad at times her network of spies was all that stood between rule and ruinFirst you have to like a book with such detailed references A good sign of a non fiction book's character or lack thereof will be revealed if a book has a strong backbone of source material I also thought the layout of the beginning of the book was excellent the author set up the characters like that of a playbill giving a brief description of the parts each person played out in this game of spies This was beneficial since there was a number of players to keep straight and having a uick guide to turn back to was helpfulAlthough I was aware of Elizabeth's most trusted advisor William Cecil's cunning and his web of information that was far reaching I did not know to what extent and how wide the network of underground information gathering reached Alford showcased the inner turmoil of the country where Protestants were once again in favor and Catholics fled the country for fear of persecution or worse Catholics that left the country however were not safe for the ever watchful eyes of England’s spies Alford’s book gave in detail a number of entertaining and well documented accounts of how England’s spies went about procuring their information and how these spies give evidence against men they had lived with worked for and befriended The book also described the Throckmorton Plot to overthrow Elizabeth and place Catholic Mary ueen of Scots on the throneI highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Elizabethan or Tudor history or those interested in reading about the lucrative business of information gathering Alford's The Watchers A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I was a well written and thoroughly researched book that I found very entertaining and informative