Mathew Lyons: author
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The Favourite: Sir Walter Ralegh in Elizabeth I's Court
The true story behind one of the greatest love stories in British history, the relationship between Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Ralegh.

When the adventurer Walter Ralegh first encountered Elizabeth I he supposedly placed his cloak over a puddle and allowed the queen to walk across it. Thus began one of the most intriguing relationships between a monarch and her favourite.

The Favourite explores the labyrinthine complexity of human emotion, ambition and ritual within the restricted confines of the Tudor court. Was the favourite a Machiavellian schemer who fooled the queen in her affections? Was Elizabeth willing to manipulate her courtier for her own ends? The Queen's affection for Ralegh would protect him but he would soon become the 'most hated man in England'.

In The Favourite, Mathew Lyons reveals a new portrait of an immortal relationship and a fascinating exploration of the many layers of love between Gloriana and Ralegh – courtier, chancer and privateer.

Praise for The Favourite
The Favourite is wonderful. Elegant and intriguing – a seductive portrait of a fascinating relationship. I couldn’t put it down.’
Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves
and Blood and Roses

‘It is a compelling and beguiling read, full of little known details for the general reader. Like Ralegh himself, Lyons has a magical turn of phrase that compels the reader to turn the pages to find out what happens next…
Susan Ronald, author of Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire

‘Impeccably researched book by a real enthusiast for the subject, revealing the true story behind the relationship between Elizabeth I and the great Sir Walter Ralegh.’
Caroline Sanderson, ‘10 Titles Not to Miss’, Spring Non-Fiction Highlights, The Bookseller

NEW: The Favourite has been selected as a History Today summer read by Tudor historian Linda Porter, author of Katherine the Queen: the Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr.

Order The Favourite now from Amazon, directly from Constable & Robinson, or from any good bookshop.

For review copies and other media enquiries, please contact Emily Burns: emily@constablerobinson.com