The Marlowe Society

Reading List

Reading List

Books on Elizabethans & Elizabethan Life

Marlowe Biographies
Queen Elizabeth I by J.E.Neale

*Queen Elizabeth I

  • Author: J.E.Neale
  • Published: First Edition: Jonathan Cape 1934. Many subsequent editions.
  • Details: Hard cover. 400pp. [Contents List]
  • ISBN: 0712666117 (1998 Edition)
  • Summary: Long held to be the definitive, comprehensive work on Elizabeth I's reign.
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Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester by Alan Kendall

*Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

  • Author: Alan Kendall
  • Published: Cassell, London (1980)
  • Details: Hardback. 259pp.
  • ISBN: 0304304425
  • Summary: Well-researched biography of Leicester providing a balanced assessment of the many intrigues involving Queen Elizabeth's favourite, who was admired by some, but hated by many.
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*Mr. Secretary Walsingham and the Policy of Queen Elizabeth

  • Author: Conyers Read
  • Published: Oxford University Press 1925.
  • Details: 3 Vols. Hard cover. 443pp, 433pp, ???pp.
  • ISBN: 1593860005 (2003 Reprint)
  • Contents: Vol I: Early life, French Embassy, Treaty of Blois, Massacre at St. Bartholomew's, French Affairs, Dutch Affairs 1573-78, Embassy to the Low Countries. Vol II: Alencon, Scottish Affairs 1570-85, Catholics and Puritans, Plots and Counter Plots. Vol III: Babington Plot, Beginning of War 1584-6, Scotland and France 1585-8, Armada, Year after Armada, English Maritime Enterprise, Private Affairs.
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Walsingham: Elizabethan Spymaster and Statesman by Alan Haynes

Walsingham: Elizabethan Spymaster and Statesman

  • Author: Alan Haynes
  • Published: Sutton Publishing 2004.
  • Details: Hard cover. 288pp.
  • ISBN: 0750931221
  • Summary: Acknowledges Read as a major source, but much condensed (not always for the better), and some minor updates to Read.
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The Queen's Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I by John Cooper

*The Queen's Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I

  • Author: John Cooper
  • Published: Faber & Faber July 2012.
  • Details: Paperback. 400pp.
  • ISBN: 057121827X
  • Reviews: History Today; LRB; Telegraph.
  • Summary: Highly-acclaimed biography of Walsingham, and his role as 'SpyMaster' and protector of England's protestant Queen.
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The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I by Stephen Alford

The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I

  • Author: Stephen Alford
  • Published: Penguin June 2013.
  • Details: Paperback. 416pp.
  • ISBN: 0141043652
  • Reviews: Guardian; Times HE.
  • Summary: Generally well-researched study of Elizabethan plots, spies and informers, including Robert Poley. Marlowe's death though referred to disappointingly as an "argument over a tavern bill".
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God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England by Jessie Childs

*God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

God's Secret Agents: Queen Elizabeth's Forbidden Priests and the Hatching of the Gunpowder Plot by Alice Hogge

God's Secret Agents: Queen Elizabeth's Forbidden Priests and the Hatching of the Gunpowder Plot

  • Author: Alice Hogge
  • Published: HarperCollins 2005.
  • Details: Paperback. 464pp.
  • ISBN-10: 0060542276; ISBN-13: 978-0060542276
  • Reviews: Catholic Historical Review; Guardian; Telegraph.
  • Summary: Exciting account of those Catholic priests working under cover in protestant England from the 1580's to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
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Mr. Secretary Cecil and Queen Elizabeth

  • Author: Conyers Read
  • Published: Jonathan Cape 1955.
  • Details: Hard cover. 510pp. [Extracts]
  • ISBN: 0224610171 (1965)
  • Contents: Queen of Scots (1570); Lord Burghley; Ridolfi Plot; French Marriage; Dutch Revolt; St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre; Scotland (1572-3); Anglican & Puritan; Theobalds; Huguenots; Low Countries (1576-8); Alencon; Jesuits; Low Countries (1581-4); Scotland (1581-5); Leicester; Mary Stuart's End; Henry of Navarre; Peace Overtures; Armada; Essex; Attack on Puritanism; 1596; Last Days.
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Sir Walter Raleigh by Robert Lacey

Sir Walter Raleigh

  • Author: Robert Lacey
  • Published: Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1973, 1975, 2000.
  • Details: Hard cover (1973), Paperback. 415pp.
  • ISBN: 0297765574 (1973); 1842120891 (2000)
  • Summary: Based on the chronology of Ralegh's own writings. Lacey is renowned for his original and painstaking research.
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A Survey of London by John Stow

*A Survey of London

  • Author: John Stow
  • Published: Sutton Publishing 2005.
  • Details: Paperback. 442pp.
  • ISBN: 0750942401
  • Summary: A full edition of Stow's A Survey of London (1598), with a brief biography of the author, plus an introduction by Antonia Fraser.
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Tudor England Observed: The World of John Stow by Barrett L. Beer

Tudor England Observed: The World of John Stow

  • Author: Barrett L. Beer
  • Published: Sutton Publishing 1998.
  • Details: Hard cover. 224pp.
  • ISBN: 0750919434
  • Summary: A view of Elizabethan life via extracts from Stow's Survey of London (1598)
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Life in Elizabethan England by A.H.Dodd

Life in Elizabethan England

  • Author: A.H.Dodd
  • Hardback: Batsford (1961) 176pp.; Book Club Associates (1973) 224pp.
  • Paperback: John Jones Publishers (1998) 240pp.
  • ISBN: 187108346X (Paperback)
  • Summary: A scholarly & well-researched overview with plentiful illustrations. Covers: Court; Country & Town Life; Home Life; Church; Education; Arts & Pastimes; The Poor; Travel at Home & Abroad.
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Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard

*Elizabeth's London

  • Author: Liza Picard
  • Published: Phoenix Non-fiction/History.
  • Details: Paperback (2004). 389pp.
  • ISBN: 0753817578
  • Summary: A fascinating and wide-ranging portrait of Elizabethan London and Londoners. Thoroughly researched but with an easy-going style, there's an intriguing nugget on almost every page.
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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer

*The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England

  • Author: Ian Mortimer
  • Published: Vintage 2012.
  • Details: Paperback. 420pp.
  • ISBN: 0099542072
  • Reviews: Guardian; History Today; Independent.
  • Summary: Well written and thoroughly researched travel guide to Elizabethan England, with fascinating details throughout of everyday life along with that of the rich and famous.
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Twenty Days Dead by Daphne Breen

Twenty Days Dead

  • Author: Daphne Breen
  • Published: Kindle Ebook (2013).
  • Details: Kindle Edition. 199pp.
  • ASIN: B00EUDO8G0
  • Summary: An Elizabethan thriller set in Stockport, with well researched historical detail. A stranger's visit triggers a nightmarish sequence of events for Sara Shaw, including her own funeral.
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  • * Recommended as indispensible reading.
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