A beautifully tailored biography of the busy courtier --direct, entertaining and intelligent. Although Raleigh is popularly considered to be a nervous, restless, flashy courtier, the author has here presented a well-documented convincing portrait of a courageous, sane and firm intelligence. Against the background of Elizabethan intrigue -- favors bestowed and retracted at the turn of a phrase -- Raleigh's achievements are astounding. Courtier, soldier, explorer, amateur theologian, poet, sailor, ambassador and the beloved and hated of the most powerful men in the kingdom, Raleigh found alternating favor and displeasure in the court of the brilliant Queen Elizabeth, until her death. Then followed humiliations, danger, prison, sickness and finally execution upon order of King James. A great deal of Raleigh's own writings are included, sensitively simplified to blend with the simple, direct dialogue.