by Angela McLeod (Goodreads Author)
Much has been written on Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth the First's Secretary of State and Spymast…more
Much has been written on Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth the First's Secretary of State and Spymaster, but very little on his daughter, Frances, who is comparatively unknown but closely connected with the greatest of that era.
As a child, she survived the massacre of St.Bartholomew's Eve, together with Sir Philip Sidney, in Walsingham's embassy in Paris. At thirteen, she contracted herself in marriage to one of her Father's employees and, when this was forbidden, she was married to Sidney. She followed him on campaign in the Netherlands and was with him when he died of wounds following the battle of Zutphen. She then married the Queen's favourite, the Earl of Essex. Sidney had died with chivalric perfection, Essex, after a treasonable uprising, died with his head on a block eleven years later.
Within two years, Frances married the Irish Earl of Clanricarde, who had been brought up in the Essex household, and had accompanied Essex on several campaigns. She converted to Catholicism and together they built and left to posterity two outstanding houses. The book covers the last half of the reign, including the defeat of the Armada, Dutch, Spanish and Irish campaigns.
Frances was a survivor, but must have had, besides intelligence, rare charm or beauty to have married, in succession, three of the most charismatic men of the age. Seven of her twelve children survived.
Signed by the author.
― Karl Lagerfeld
― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics
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