For the greater part of her reign, Elizabeth I had three very gifted, and very different men to support her. One of these was the haunted intellectual, Sir Francis Walsingham. During the brief reign of the Queen Mary, Walsingham was a Protestant exile in Italy. Returning home when Elizabeth assumed the throne, from 1570 he became a diplomat to the arch-pragmatist Queen. He was often troubled by her inconsistent policy decisions and for allowing the exile in England of Mary Queen of Scots. His triumph came in 1587 when Mary was at last beheaded after the cunning defeat of the Babington plot. A powerful, if enigmatic figure, loathed by his adversaries and deeply admired by friends and allies, Walsingham became the master coordinator of a feared pan-European spy network. His spies underpinned his organization of national resistance to the Spanish Armada, but devotion and duty to Elizabeth was costly and Walsingham died two years later. Alan Haynes's new book restores a great Elizabethan to his rightful place in history. It will appeal to anyone interested in matters of secrecy, betrayal, loyalty, and individual freedom.