Robert Devereux, the Second Earl of Essex -- the misguided court favorite
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Very little research has been conducted in reference to Robert Devereux, the Second Earl of Essex, as a singularly important figure in the Elizabethan Era. Research for this work has revealed that in the past one-hundred and twenty years, only three biographies have been written of this man. These were written by Walter Devereux in 1853, Lytton Strachey in 1928, and G.B. Harrison in 1937. Most historians of the Elizabethan Period have either glossed over Essex and his actions or they have ignored him. Thus, it was the purpose of this paper to study Essex as a military man, a politician, and a Court favorite. An attempt has been made to determine why, in spite of his opportunism, manipulations, and military incompetency's, he turned to treason. It has been determined that Essex was much more important than previous works have indicated. He caused the Empire to lose reputation, he cost the Empire wealth, and he caused Elizabeth to lose armies. He was and egoist, an opportunist, and a manipulator. More important, he was a misled man who did not realize that the Empire was not his to play with. Essex was misled by his own self-confidence. He thought there was nothing that he could not do, or any situation that he could not control. Because of this misguided attitude, Essex became involved in actions that eventually let him to treason and death. An effort has been made to prepare a selective bibliography containing works that make specific reference to this topic. An effort has been made to utilize primary sources as much as possible.
Great Britain -- Court and courtiers -- Biography
Essex, Robert Devereux -- Earl of -- 1566-1601