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Gold-Digger

Colin Burrow: Walter Ralegh, 8 March 2012

Sir Walter Ralegh in Life and Legend 
by Mark Nicholls and Penry Williams.
Continuum, 378 pp., £25, February 2012, 978 1 4411 1209 5
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The Favourite: Sir Walter Ralegh in Elizabeth I’s Court 
by Mathew Lyons.
Constable, 354 pp., £14.99, March 2011, 978 1 84529 679 7
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... queen and the handsome nephew of her former governess to explain Ralegh’s rise to fortune. Mathew Lyons, whose eyes incline to dewy, even wonders if the queen had sex with her favourite. But there is no way that Elizabeth swisser-swattered with Sir Walter. She may have liked his pearl earrings and the turned-up beard, and few ageing queens would ...

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