1603 by Christopher Lee
The Death of Queen Elizabeth I, the Return of the Black Plague, the Rise of Shakespeare, Piracy, Witchcraft, and the Birth of the Stuart Era

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1603 was the year that Queen Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudors, died. Her cousin, Robert Carey, immediately rode like a demon to Scotland to take the news to James VI. The cataclysmic time of the Stuarts had come and the son of Mary Queen of Scots left Edinburgh for London to claim his throne as James I of England.

Diaries and notes written in 1603 describe how a resurgence of the plague killed nearly 40,000 people. Priests blamed the sins of the people for the pestilence, witches were strangled and burned and plotters strung up on gate tops. But not all was gloom and violence. From a ship's log we learn of the first precious cargoes of pepper arriving from the East Indies after the establishment of a new spice route; Sharkespeare was finishing Othello and Ben Jonson wrote furiously to please a nation thirsting for entertainment.

1603 was one of the most important and interesting years in British history. Christopher Lee, acclaimed author of This Sceptred Isle, unfolds its story from first-hand accounts and original documents to mirror the seminal year in which Britain moved from Tudor medievalism towards the wars, republicanism and regicide that lay ahead.

About Christopher Lee

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Christopher Lee studied history at Cambridge and subsequently became BBC defense correspondent. He is the author of the acclaimed BBC series This Sceptered Isle and has edited Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples from the original four volumes into a single book .
Published March 24, 2003 by Headline Review. 352 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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as Lee writes, “Elizabeth may have commanded the obedience of the people, but James would not—and nor would any sovereign who followed.” Complicating James’s uneasy ascent to the throne was the return of the Black Death, which felled 40,000 English men, women, and children in 1603;

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Publishers Weekly

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Lee, author of This Sceptred Isle , a history of Britain that accompanied a BBC radio series, focuses in on one turning point in that saga. In 1603 the Elizabetha

Feb 23 2004 | Read Full Review of 1603: The Death of Queen Eliz...

The Sunday Times

But 1603 did see a series of dramatic events — the trial of Walter Raleigh, a truce between England and Spain, the defeat of Tyrone in Ireland, the first return of cargo from the

Apr 13 2003 | Read Full Review of 1603: The Death of Queen Eliz...

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