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Sir Walter Ralegh's life is romantic, irresistible and of central importance to Great Britain's island story. His death is a convoluted and contested tale of bargaining, failure and betrayal. Through the Elizabethan golden age and Ralegh's famous adventures to the final act, Anna Beer presents his stranger-than-fiction life in all its richness.
How could a man once the Queen's favourite find himself consigned to the Tower by her successor? Should his legacy be fame or infamy? Who was the real Sir Walter Ralegh?

About the Author

Anna Beer

Anna's first book, type-written when she was 12, was called 'Wuthering Claudia'. It was written for and featured her classmates at Chiswick Community School. Now, several decades on, she continues to write about what interests her - and hopes will interest others. Her latest book, 'Sounds and Sweet Airs: the Forgotten Women of Classical Music' tells the fascinating and inspiring stories of eight female composers. It's a book that's been in her mind for years, and it's truly exciting to see it come to life.

Writing 'Sounds' has brought together a number of Anna's long-standing activities and passions - music, obviously; writing, even more obviously; thinking about women's lives in the past (which was the impetus for her book on Bess Throckmorton, wife to Sir Walter Ralegh) ; thinking about the material conditions necessary for the creation of 'great art' (which was one of the ideas behind her biography of John Milton) .

Alongside her work as a biographer, Anna teaches English Literature and Creative Writing to undergraduates and postgraduates; contributes to the Oxford Student Texts series for Oxford University Press; and makes regular lecture and media appearances.

Anna's blog (www.shadowofthecourtesan.wordpress.com) reveals that research, writing and teaching are not her only passions: she loves cycling (sometimes a long, long way) ; good food and really good wine; and wandering around dirty, beautiful cities. Oh, and long-distance trains.

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