Her Majesty's Spymaster by Stephen Budiansky
Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage

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Sir Francis Walsingham’s official title was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I, but in fact this pious, tight-lipped Puritan was England’s first spymaster. A ruthless, fiercely loyal civil servant, Walsingham worked brilliantly behind the scenes to foil Elizabeth’s rival Mary Queen of Scots and outwit Catholic Spain and France, which had arrayed their forces behind her. Though he cut an incongruous figure in Elizabeth’s worldly court, Walsingham managed to win the trust of key players like William Cecil and the Earl of Leicester before launching his own secret campaign against the queen’s enemies. Covert operations were Walsingham’s genius; he pioneered techniques for exploiting double agents, spreading disinformation, and deciphering codes with the latest code-breaking science that remain staples of international espionage.

About Stephen Budiansky

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STEPHEN BUDIANSKY, journalist and military historian, is the author of nine books about history, science, and nature, including Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II. He publishes frequently in the New York Times and the Washington Post and currently serves as a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly.
Published July 25, 2006 by Plume. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Walsingham, whose motto was “Hear all reports but trust not all,” built up a network of “paid scoundrels” to infiltrate Catholic circles, being faced continually with crisis after crisis involving the conniving Mary Queen of Scots and her sympathetic Catholic followers.

May 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Her Majesty's Spymaster: Eliz...

Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Aug 19, 2005 Published in issue #836 Aug 26, 2005 Order article reprints

Aug 19 2005 | Read Full Review of Her Majesty's Spymaster: Eliz...

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