Elizabeth I's Secret Lover : Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester
In many respects Dudley was the most significant figure of his age. As a great impresario, he showed Elizabeth off to her people to glittering effect and became the forerunner of Shakespearian theatre, combining classicism with ribaldry. He attracted the financing of Drake's circumnavigation.
He was the supporter of academic endeavour, of poetry, and of Puritan scholarship. By employing a network of his own agents, he provided information of crucial importance to Government. He built some of the finest houses and gardens of the age.
As Master of the Horse, he developed English bloodstock to provide horses for Royal and military requirements. He saw to it that England's navy and army was properly prepared to meet Continental aggression when needed. Lord Robert Dudley has faced criticism from historians by competing with William Cecil to gain the ear of Elizabeth I and thwarting his efforts to arrange a political marriage for her to protect against Continental Catholic aggression.
There can be no doubt that Elizabeth wanted to marry him. He was devastatingly attractive, athletic and loyal. The text provides compelling evidence that the virgin queen' spent time in bed with him.
An influential and important character of the Elizabethan age, this biography places Robert Dudley within the context of the time and how he navigated court as the favourite of the infamous Elizabeth I.