Sarah Gristwood

Elizabeth & Leicester
  • Elizabeth & Leicester

  • Few relationships fire our imagination like that of Elizabeth I and her 'bonnie sweet Robin' - the Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley.

    Almost immediately after she became queen, Elizabeth's infatuation with the married Earl became the subject of letters from scandalized ambassadors. And when Dudley's wife, Amy, died a mere two years later under suspicious circumstances many speculated that Elizabeth and Robert would marry.

    They never did, although by the time Robert died he had been Elizabeth's councillor and commander of her army, had sat by her bed in sickness and represented her on state occasions. But she had also humiliated him, made him dance attendance on her other suitors, and tried to have him clapped in prison when he finally broke loose and married again.

    Elizabeth and Leicester is a portrait - at times a startlingly intimate one - of the tie between two of the people who forced their age; of a relationship where, unusually, a woman held all the power; of an edgy yet enduring love that still speaks to us today.

After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood worked as a journalist specializing in the arts and women's issues. She is a regular contributor to The Times, Guardian, Independent and the Evening Standard. Arbella, her historical biography of Arbella Stuart, was widely acclaimed in hardcover, and is available as a Bantam paperback. Her forthcoming anthology of women's diaries through the ages will also be published in paperback by Bantam Books in 2006.