A captivating true story that chronicles the exploits of Sir Francis Walsingham - the first great English spymaster and the man who saved Elizabeth's regime and the country's independence. Elizabeth I came to the throne at a time of insecurity and unrest. Rivals threatened her reign; England was a Protestant island, isolated in a sea of Catholic countries. Spain plotted an invasion, but Elizabeth's Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, was prepared to do whatever it took to protect her. He ran a network of agents in England and Europe who provided him with information about invasions or assassination plots. He recruited likely young men and 'turned' others. He encouraged Elizabeth to make war against the Catholic Irish rebels, with extreme brutality, and oversaw the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The Queen's Agent is a story of secret agents, cryptic codes and ingenious plots, set in a turbulent period of England's history. It is also the story of a man devoted to his queen, sacrificing his every waking hour to save the threatened English state.
Long before James Bond, England had a real-life spymaster in Sir Francis Walsingham. John Cooper compiled this thorough depiction of the man and his time. As an agent for Elizabeth, Sir Francis looked for Catholic uprisings at home and abroad. Dedicated to protect her at all costs, he became a master cryptographer and an expert at turning his enemies into double agents. This exciting, real-life story of intrigue is performed by James Adams with gusto and class. Adams' voice is similar in quality to Alan Rickman’s, giving the impression that he’d be as comfortable delivering oration on the Shakespearian stage of Elizabeth’s time as delivering this engaging audiobook about her most trusted and daring agent.
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The Power Behind the Throne
Before there was Smiley,Bond, or Wild Bill
Sir Francis was devoted (to Queen Elizabeth I), driven (to protect her and England), and dedicated (to his Queen, his country, and his Reformed Christianity).
Sir Francis's exhaustive efforts to entrap Mary, Queen of Scots and to protect England from the Spanish Armada, despite his often ill health, Queen Elizabeth's frugality, and hesitation to strike against her fellow queen and cousin.
Duh! The subject of the biography.
The opening chapters described the horrific massacre of the French Huguenots. Sir Francis was in Paris at the time and witnessed the slaughter and fear of the French Protestants. His memory of this event coloured his subsequent actions.
James Adams narrated the book clearly. His voice conveyed the subtlest sarcasm and wit when appropriate. I would gladly listen to his narration again. There was a lot of information in the book - it is, perhaps, too "dense" to be an easy listen, but Mr Adam's narration, unlike some, did not lull the listener into a hypnotic fog.