Elizabeth's Spymaster : Francis Walsingham and the Secret War That Saved England, Paperback

Elizabeth's Spymaster : Francis Walsingham and the Secret War That Saved England Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The incredible real life story of the world's first super spy Francis Walsingham was the first 'spymaster' in the modern sense.

His methods anticipated those of MI5 and MI6 and even those of the KGB.

He maintained a network of spies across Europe, including double-agents at the highest level in Rome and Spain - the sworn enemies of Queen Elizabeth and her Protestant regime.

His entrapment of Mary Queen of Scots is a classic intelligence operation that resulted in her execution.

As Robert Hutchinson reveals, his cypher expert's ability to intercept other peoples' secret messages and his brilliant forged letters made him a fearsome champion of the young Elizabeth.

Yet even this Machiavellian schemer eventually fell foul of Elizabeth as her confidence grew (and judgement faded).

The rise and fall of Sir Francis Walsingham is a Tudor epic, vividly narrated by a historian with unique access to the surviving documentary evidence.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, 14
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780753822487



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A very well researched and meticulously documented account of Walsingham's activities defending his country and Queen against Catholic plots both real and in some cases imaginary or inflated. There is relatively less about Walsingham personally and about his family, especially as his early life is relatively little documented. Well worth reading, though probably not to get too involved in the intracacies of the annotations if you are reading this for purposes other than study.