Surprise, Surprise - An Elizabethan Mystery

John Bossy has painstakingly reconstructed from clues and evidence, a hitherto untold story of intellectual intrigue, spying and double-cross in Elizabethan England.

Engraving of Michel de Castelnau
Engraving of Michel de Castelnau

There is a slot in the historical journal, Past and Present, for pieces called 'viewpoints', which are more personal and off-the-cuff than the more heavyweight contributions. A couple of years ago I wrote one called 'reviving a Narrative', which for various reasons did not get published. Some time before there had been two substantial articles in the journal, one by Lawrence Stone and one by Eric Hobsbawm, about whether a revival of narrative in history was under way, and if so whether it was a good thing.

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