Mathew Lyon‘s The Favouritetraces the rise of Walter Ralegh from Devon small gentry to royal favour and power – and does it by paying attention to the psychological intricacies of Ralegh’s relationship with the Queen.
Lyons reads between the lines of extant documents and explores the motives of words and actions. What emerges is the rather unusual portrait of”the man who threw his cloak at Elizabeth’s feet.”
The Favourite begins there too, with the famous anecdote that may or may not be a later fiction – but, the author says, even if it is, it fits Ralegh to perfection, in its mix of bold impulse and shameless display. If he didn’t do it, whoever made it up caught well the man’s projected image… Continue reading