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The Pirate Queen

The Pirate QueenThe Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, find Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire

Elizabeth I was originally dubbed ‘the pirate queen’ by Philip II of Spain and acknowledged as such by the pope. Extravagant, whimsical, hot-tempered, sexually enticing and the epitome of power, Elizabeth I has never ceased to amaze, entertain, and educate through the centuries. Yet very little has been written, and no books have been dedicated to, Elizabeth I for the financial magician that she was. She played the helpless woman in a man’s world to great effect and beleaguered Protestant queen in a predominantly Catholic Europe, using her wiles to exploit every political and social opportunity at hand.

Yet her many accomplishments would have never been possible without her daring merchants, gifted rapscallion adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and stalwart Privy Councilors like William Cecil, Francis Walsingham, and Nicholas Bacon. All these men contributed their vast genius, power, greed, and expertise to the rise of England and the foundations of the British Empire. Her foundation of empire was built on a carefully choreographed strategic plan where privateering – piracy to us today – was the expedient method she and her advisors selected to turn her rogue state into the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

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Biographies of the great Tudor queen abound, but this solid, even exciting one pursues a particular tack and thus takes itself outside the usual run of standard treatments.- Brad Hooper, Booklist
Deftly interweaving contemporary accounts with colourful details, Susan Ronald guides us masterfully through an Elizabethan world –  Miranda Kaufmann, Times Literary Supplement