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Raleigh's Last Journey: A Tale of…

Raleigh's Last Journey: A Tale of Madness, Vanity, and Treachery (urspr publ 2004; utgåvan 2003)

av Paul Hyland

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311618,671 (3.25)Ingen/inga
This is the story of Sir Walter Ralegh's last months, during the summer of 1618 when, his last voyage a failure and under great suspicion from James I, he was escorted back to London and the scaffold.

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Hyland has written a very accomplished - and contained - history of Sir Walter Raleigh´s final voyage, and his subsequent arrest and execution. This book shows how the hero of the Elizabethan age came to be an enemy of the State under James 1. Schoolroom histories of England (or Britain as it was in the process of becoming) have always projected an image of a stable nation with an unbroken succession of monarchs. In reality it was a country seething with ambition and discontent. The fractious ruling classes brawled and plotted while the rural and urban poor frequently resorted to riot and armed rebellion. Raleigh had the misfortune to hold strong Elizabethan beliefs as to the perfidy of both Spain and Catholicism in an age where James 1 was an admirer of both. Although it was clear that Raleigh was a great dissembler of the truth, there was a widespread belief among the largely protestant population that he was an innocent man who had been executed by James in order to appease the Spanish. Some see his execution as the first pebble in an avalanche that saw the son of James 1 die on the executioners block some thirty years later when the discredited monarchy was overthrown by Cromwell´s republic.

This book concentrates on just a short (final) period of Raleigh´s life. Frequent asides, however, give the reader an excellent portrait of post-Elizabethan England. Hyland is able to bring in extensive dialogue and day by day descriptions of Raleigh´s attempts to escape his captors and to clear his name. This particularity is a product of the immense archives of material from Raleigh´s trial, and Raleigh´s own extensive writings. Hyland has certainly done credit to this gift and has created a very readable history of a little known period. I can´t quite put my finger on why I didn´t rate this book with more stars, the closest I can come to it is to acknowledge that at the end I, like James 1, had become a little tired of Raleigh´s constantly shifting grip on the truth and his endless struggle to justify (and promote) his place in history. But perhaps it is as a man with flaws - indeed fatal flaws as it turned out - that Raleigh becomes most interesting. A worthwhile read. ( )
  nandadevi | May 2, 2012 |
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This is the story of Sir Walter Ralegh's last months, during the summer of 1618 when, his last voyage a failure and under great suspicion from James I, he was escorted back to London and the scaffold.

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Medelbetyg: (3.25)
3 1
3.5 1

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