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Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair By John Bossy

Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair
by John Bossy

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Delving into a netherworld of treachery and intrigue in Elizabethan London, John Bossy attempts to solve a centuries-old mystery: who was "Fagot", the spy working within the French embassy in London to subvert Catholic attempts to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and her government?
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Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair Summary

Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair by John Bossy

This book tells a true detective story set mainly in Elizabethan London during the years of cold war just before the Armada of 1588. The mystery is the identity of a spy working in a foreign embassy to frustrate Catholic conspiracy and propaganda aimed at the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth and her government.

The suspects in the case are the inmates of the house, an old building in the warren of streets and gardens between Fleet Street and the Thames. These include the ambassador, a civilized Frenchman, his wife, his daughter, his secretary, his clerk and his priest, the tutor, the chef, the butler, and the concierge. They also include a runaway friar, the Neapolitan philosopher, poet, and comedian Giordano Bruno, who wrote masterpieces of Italian literature, who was later burned in Rome for his anti-papal opinions, and who has been revered in Italy for his honorable and heroic resistance to papal authority. Others in the cast are Queen Elizabeth, her formidable secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham, and King Henry III of France; poets, courtiers, and scholars; statesmen, conspirators, go-betweens, and stool-pigeons. When not in London, the action takes place in Paris and Oxford; a good deal of it happens on the river Thames. The hero or villain, who calls himself Fagot, does his work most effectively, is not found out, and disappears.

In the first part of the book these events are narrated. In the second the spy is identified and his story put together. John Bossy's brilliant research, backed by his forensic and literary skills, solves a centuries-old mystery. His book makes a major contribution to the political and intellectual history of the wars of religion in Europe and to the domestic history of Elizabethan England. Not least, it is compelling reading.

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Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair Reviews

"This book is a detective story told by a masterly historian." Diarmaid MacCulloch, New Statesman & Society "Read the book. It is, quite simply, brilliant." Susan Brigden, Country Life "Bossy's creative, thoroughly researched and engaging work emulates the investigative style of the best detective fiction." Deborah E. Harkness, Sixteenth Century Journal "Mr. Bossy's erudition is so great, his virtuosity in handling it so enviable, the story he tells so fascinating, and he tells it so well, with such verve and subtlety and wit... This is a marvellous book." H. R. Trevor-Roper, New York Review of Books "Bossy combines meticulous research with a lively style and guides the reader along the alleys of Elizabethan espionage to some startling conclusions." Andrew Roberts, Sunday Telegraph "A very real tour de force by a very clever historian." Simon Adams, Times Literary Supplement "Bossy opens up a startling new angle on certain secret operations of the mid-1580s... A triumph of close historical focus." Charles Nicholl, London Review of Books

About John Bossy

John Bossy is emeritus professor of history at the University of York.

Additional information

Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair by John Bossy
John Bossy
Used - Very Good
Yale University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.