Soldier, statesman, writer, scientist, born about 1552, Walter Raleigh was driven and directed by his endless energy and lust for adventure. By his great show of courage, the man of action came to be a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I; she called him her ""Oracle"" and her ""Wit"" and knighted him in 1585. The ""uncommon days of excitement"" of the sixteenth century are drawn in three dimensions; Raleigh's involvement with the Virginia venture, his concerns with Ireland, the fears of Spanish invasion, his complex relationship with Essex are described in lively prose. The author does not make use of the devices of invented conversations or monologues. Straight through Raleigh's trial for treason and his beheading, Miss Buckmaster captures the pomp and pageantry in colorfast tones. Excellent history, alive and factual.