An illuminating revisionist biography about Queen Elizabeth I and he merchant-adventures who terrorised the seas, extended the Empire, and amassed great wealth for the throne.
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 Councillors 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.
In 'The Pirate Queen', British historian Susan Ronald explores this other side of Elizabeth and her men; her uncanny instinct for financial survival; and her superior intellect that has been sadly neglected by many historians. It is essentially a history about power and greed -- Elizabeth's own power and greed were the cornerstones of her personal rule and visions for England's future. Combining these with an aptitude to manipulate political events of a world stage; and stay one jump ahead of intrigues at court was no mean task.