Elizabeth and Essex (A Tragic History)
by Lytton Strachey (1928)
Giles Lytton Strachey (1 March 1880 – 21 January 1932) was a British writer and critic. A founding member of the Bloomsbury Group and author of Eminent Victorians, he is best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit.
One of the most famous and baffling romances in history—between Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex—began in May of 1587, when she was fifty-three and he was just shy of twenty. Their relationship continued until 1601, when the Earl of Essex was beheaded for treason. In a succession of brilliant scenes, Strachey portrays the Queen's and the Earl's compelling attraction for one another, their impassioned disagreements, and their mutual contest for power, which led to a final, tragic confrontation.
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