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A European Elizabethan : The Life of Robert Beale, Esquire - David Scott Gehring
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A European Elizabethan

The Life of Robert Beale, Esquire

By: David Scott Gehring

Hardcover | 20 September 2024

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Robert Beale (1541-1601) was a diplomat and administrator who worked at the heart of Elizabethan governance and international policymaking. But in spite of, or perhaps because of, the voluminous record he left behind, he has never been the subject of a dedicated biography, and his remarkable life and influence have therefore remained hidden. By thoroughly investigating Beale's personal reference archive, which remains largely intact at the British Library, and additional material from archives across the UK, mainland Europe, and the USA, A European Elizabethan brings Beale's life into sharp focus, from his shadowy upbringing in Coventry and London through his first trips to the European mainland in the 1550s to his prominent roles in Queen Elizabeth's governments, including as her ambassador to various foreign powers. By reconstructing the complex web of transnational connections he forged throughout Europe, David Gehring demonstrates for the first time the extent to which these networks and his experiences abroad made him an invaluable agent of the Elizabethan regime. In the process, Gehring reveals Beale's broader significance for our understanding of the workings of Elizabethan government, especially the role of second- and third-level players within it, as well as underlining the impossibility of truly understanding Elizabethan England without considering its interactions with and connections to mainland Europe. In so doing, the book makes a range of novel contributions, including to understandings of Elizabethan foreign policy, the succession, religion, political life, and intelligence gathering.

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