The true story behind one of the greatest love stories in British history, the relationship between Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Ralegh.
The Favourite strips away the myth to reveal Sir Walter Ralegh in the role in which his contemporaries knew him best: the courtier who could win the affection of Elizabeth I, while also being the ‘most hated man in England’. Using first-hand accounts, Lyons uncovers a maze of ambition and desire: a brutal Elizabethan world riven by crime and corruption and riddled with traitors and spies.
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Praise for The Favourite
‘The Favourite is wonderful. Elegant and intriguing – a seductive portrait of a fascinating relationship. I couldn’t put it down.’
Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves and Blood and Roses, Helen also chose The Favourite as one of her books of 2011 in The Telegraph
‘It is a compelling and beguiling read, full of little known details for the general reader. Like Ralegh himself, Lyons has a magical turn of phrase that compels the reader to turn the pages to find out what happens next…’
Susan Ronald, author of Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire
‘Stunningly researched, The Favourite pulses with the lethal intrigues of the Elizabethan court. Above and apart stands Ralegh, the adventurer who wanted to give his queen a new world. A moving portrait of two fiercely independent individuals and their intimate, secret bond.’
Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen’s Lady
‘Impeccably researched book by a real enthusiast for the subject, revealing the true story behind the relationship between Elizabeth I and the great Sir Walter Ralegh.’
Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
‘A beautifully-written, imaginative volume (and the prose really is superb)… very entertaining, eminently readable.’
Jonathan Wright, Herald Scotland
‘The Favourite offers an intriguing and perceptive understanding of a relationship that continues to fascinate down the centuries.’
Lucinda Byatt, Historical Novels Review
‘A vivid picture of the glitter and hazards at court, with its jealousies and intrigues.’
East Anglia Daily Times
The Favourite was also selected as a History Today summer read by Tudor Historian Linda Porter, author of Katherine the Queen: the Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr.