An interestingly written account of the relationship between Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and Robert Devereux, The Second Earl of Essex―began in 1587. One of the most famous and tortured romances in history.  Written several decades ago, the language is not so modern and can be a little difficult to follow, but good to learn. It is a story of attraction, passion, and treason, and describes the way in which, although strongly drawn to each other, Elizabeth and Essex struggled for power. The story ends with Essex’s rebellion and execution in 1601. Here we also have superb portraits of influential people of the time: Francis Bacon, Robert Cecil, Walter Raleigh, and other figures of the court who struggled to assert themselves in a kingdom that was primarily defined by her sovereign, and so now seen through history's lens as Elizabethan England.

The story is compelling, and although Strachey perhaps embellished in places his writing is thoughtful and smart.

I recommend this book for those who love Elizabethan-era; it nicely balances history and fiction and moves along at a good pace.