Writing Raleigh – Tudor Adventurer
Tudor adventurer, courtier, explorer and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh has been called the last true Elizabethan.
This journey began more than ten years ago, when I decided to find a fresh approach to the story of the Tudors. I began with Welsh servant Owen Tudor’s first meeting with the widowed Queen Catherine of Valois, and followed the ‘thread’ of the dynasty through successive generations.
and followed him across the Irish Sea to the bustling city of Cork, where he served in the English Army of occupation. I also visited the peaceful harbour at Youghal, where he had a house called ‘Myrtle Grove’ and became Mayor.
My research uncovered a comprehensive collection of original letters and poetry written by Raleigh. As well as helping me understand the often complex timeline of events, they also gave me a sense of his ‘voice’, and his feelings towards the queen and others of her court.
I relied on the comprehensive records of the Elizabethan Court, which set out events in fascinating detail. I was also lucky to read ‘A Woman of Noble Wit’, a new novel by Rosemary Griggs, about Raleigh’s mother. This led me to explore Walter Raleigh’s relationship with his father, as well as his mother, an aspect of him largely ignored by historical biographers.
My hope is that Raleigh – Tudor Adventurer will help readers see beyond the myths and half-truths, and have a better understanding of the man who has been called the last true Elizabethan.