Please make welcome to the Tavern the talented author, Tony Riches! We're celebrating his new book release, Raleigh - Tudor Adventurer! Grab a mug of ale and let's hear what Tony has to say about his intriguing story...
Researching the life of Sir Walter Raleigh.
I like my books to be as factually accurate as possible, with the creative use of fiction reserved for breathing life into my characters, and adding a sense of the atmosphere of the places where they lived. This means I spend the summer months visiting actual locations and tracking down primary sources. In the case of Walter Raleigh, I also studied his surviving letters and papers.
Raleigh’s personal archive was scattered widely, with many of his papers thought to be lost. Fortunately for me, the late Devon historian Joyce Youings, who was Emeritus Professor of English Social History at the University of Exeter, spent her life discovering over two hundred of Raleigh’s letters, and Agnes Latham collected Raleigh’s poetry, adding her invaluable commentary.
As well as offering me an authentic sense of Raleigh’s ‘voice’ and how he addressed others of the Elizabethan Court, these letters were a great help in sorting out the often confusing timeline of events. I was of aware of Raleigh’s tendency to exaggerate, flatter and posture in his writing, but there is no better way to develop an understanding of his motives. Here is an example of a surviving letter from Raleigh to his wife, Bess, which shows how difficult they can be to transcribe:
The next main source of information on Raleigh’s life was the fascinating Folgerpedia resource, ‘The Elizabethan Court Day by Day.’ This searchable archive provided me with access to a wealth of invaluable details, and clues for deeper research. The archive began as an investigation into the people and places visited by Queen Elizabeth I on her travels, known as ‘progresses’, and the entertainments presented before her. It gradually expanded to trace the whereabouts of the Queen on every day throughout her long reign, what she was doing, often what she was saying, and who her companions were.
Finally, my travels have taken me to rural Devon and Dorset, and in Raleigh’s footsteps across the sea to Ireland, where I visited the city of Cork and the harbour of Youghal, where he was briefly Mayor and had a house named ‘Myrtle Grove. I also visited the Tower of London and the cell where Raleigh was imprisoned.
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.
Tudor adventurer, courtier, explorer and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh has been called the last true Elizabethan.
He didn’t dance or joust, didn’t come from a noble family, or marry into one. So how did an impoverished law student become a favourite of the queen, and Captain of the Guard?
The story which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy follows Walter Raleigh from his first days at the Elizabethan Court to the end of the Tudor dynasty.
Available on Kindle Unlimited and for purchase on AMAZON!
Meet the Author
Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the lives of the Tudors. He also runs the popular ‘Stories of the Tudors’ podcast, and posts book reviews, author interviews and guest posts at his blog, The Writing Desk. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches
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