Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend
Continuum International Publishing Group
, Mar 31, 2011
- 378 pages
Sir Walter Raleigh is a figure writ large in popular imagination. Yet how can we understand this man who was soldier, voyager, visionary, courtier, politician, poet, historian, patriot and 'traitor'? Recent research has illuminated the context of his career at the Court of Elizabeth I, while much is still to be learned about Raleigh the man. Drawing on new texts of his poems, letters and travel narratives, Nicholls and Williams use Raleigh's own writings to explore his ideas, personality, feelings and values. No biography of Raleigh can be complete with out an assessment of his posthumous reputation. Myths that accumulated around him tell us something about the man himself, but far more about the perceptions of his own and subsequent generations. Raleigh's talents as a writer ensured his positive legacy, but the appropriation of his legend for so many differing political uses has left us with a complex picture. Exploring how the many re-workings of Raleigh all touch on truth, Nicholls and Williams provide a new account of the life of this ever compelling figure. - Publisher.