Born a crypto-Jew in Portugal in 1525, Roderigo Lopez studied medicine in Spain before moving to London in 1559. A talented surgeon, Lopez soon rose to prominence at court, displaying a capacity for intrigue and espionage. In the service of spy networks, he became deeply entwined in English foreign policy. When the 1st Earl of Essex was poisoned ...Read MoreBorn a crypto-Jew in Portugal in 1525, Roderigo Lopez studied medicine in Spain before moving to London in 1559. A talented surgeon, Lopez soon rose to prominence at court, displaying a capacity for intrigue and espionage. In the service of spy networks, he became deeply entwined in English foreign policy. When the 1st Earl of Essex was poisoned to death, Lopez numbered amongs those suspected. But in 1586, undeterred by the scandal, he was appointed personal physician to the Queen. However, Lopez was financially over-extended and became so desperate he embarked on a high-risk enterprise as freelance diplomat and spymaster, contacting the Spanish in an attempt to se up peace talks. Suspicious of Lopez, the 2nd Earl of Essex began an investigation. The case against Lopez was damning with stories of botched abortions and murder, sa houses and mail drops, double agents and triple identities. Lacking vital corroboration of his story by the Spanish, and despite the Queen's support, amidst an atmosphere of anti-Semitism stirred up by Essex, Lopez was hung drawn and quartered in 1594. He protested his loyalty and Christianity to the last, and provided the young Shakespeare with inspirationRead Less
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Very Good/Very Good. 8vo 0712615393 Dust jacket complete except price clipped. Black cloth with bright gilt titling on spine. No ownership inscription. Colour & b/w illustrations on plates. 402 pages clean and tight. Roderigo Lopez was famous as Elizabeth I's personal physician, but he was a man of many secrets. The old doctor was also a businessman, a diplomat, a spymaster and a secret Jew. Providing intelligence with medicine, Lopez connected the bright world of court with the shadowy world of espionage. For decades, he had partitioned his life into two spheres-known and unknown-but now someone was watching him. In late 1593, one of Lopez's patients, the Earl of Essex, accused him of being a Spanish agent who had plotted to poison the queen. Lopez protested his innocence, claiming that he had acted under the orders of Essex's rival, Lord Burghley, to draw the Spanish into peace talks. The ensuing scandal drew in the highest and lowest of Elizabethan London, from the queen to the new-born baby left on Lopez's doorstep; from Don Antonio, the alcoholic pretender to the Portuguese throne, to Francis Bacon, the ambitious young lawyer. Amid rumours of racking in the Tower, supposed details of Lopez's double life spilled out tales of botched abortions and murder; safe houses and mail drops, secret synagogues and ciphered letters; double `agent's, and triple identities. Convicted of treason. Lopez died a traitor's death, hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Shortly afterwards, Shakespeare wrote Merchant of Venice, its plot and anti-hero, Shylock, resonant with the aftershocks of the Lopez Affair. Who was Doctor, Lepez? Was he a traitor or a loyal servant? Who sent to Tyburn, and who gained from his death? And where does the young William Shakespee fit into the story? Dominic Green pieces together State Papers, trial records, secret correspondence and previously unpublished material to reveal a unique historical detective story. Beautifully written and insightful, Th double life of Doctor Lopez solves a four hundred year "old mystery.
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