Treason in Tudor England: Politics and Paranoia
Unavailable for many years, this wonderfully entertaining and informative book tells the story of treason in Tudor England. Tudor England abounded ... Show synopsis Unavailable for many years, this wonderfully entertaining and informative book tells the story of treason in Tudor England. Tudor England abounded with traitors, great and small, whose ill-timed, and self-defeating antics guaranteed their failure. Yet from the inept and calamitous intrigues of "Sweet-Lips" Gregory Botolf in 1540, and Lord Admiral Thomas Seymour during the reign of Edward VI, to the bungled palace coup by Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, during Elizabeth's reign, treason didn't prosper. Tudor England accepted unquestioningly the conspiracy theory of history; it assumed the existence of evil; and it instinctively believed that a greater and usually malicious reality lay behind outward appearance. Sensible men were forever on guard against their Iago, dedicated to evil for its own sake, who lurked under the guise of a trusted friend or servant. Father's advised their sons, "Love no man: trust no man." By looking at the behaviour of the flamboyant Robert Devereux (who bore all the hallmarks of paranoia) as a case study in political hysteria, Lacey Baldwin Smith examines the ways in which insecurity in the midst of political and religious revolution was obsessive and self-perpetuating, and produced throughout the kingdom a state of hysteria that was unique to the sixteenth century.