English soldier, explorer, courtier, writer, and poet was one of the most notable figures of the Elizabethan era. Louise Creighton’s short biography follows him from the wars in Spain to the jungles of Guiana. Ralegh sparkles in a court riddled with intrigue and constrained by attendance on the brilliant, imperious Elizabeth and on her successor, that rigid mediocrity, James. During his long confinement in the Tower of London, Ralegh conducted chemical experiments and wrote a ”History of the World.” Everyone knows that things did not end well for Sir Walter, but time has not tarnished the charisma of his life. Creighton writes, ”There was no field of activity then open to men into which he did not enter…In an age remarkable for its varied forms of intellectual vigour, he represents with wonderful many-sidedness the different interests which then absorbed men’s minds.’
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