Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, was Queen Elizabeth’s favourite at the time when the English Armada was being prepared. The Queen intended to forbid the Earl from joining the expedition because she wished to have him by her side, but Devereux was not inclined to obey her. Following this argument, which was worthy of a farce, there followed a spectacular series of events which ran parallel to the main expedition. Flights, persecutions, proclamations, lost galleons, reunions, letters, special agents, searches, pretence and deception, and above all Elizabeth’s anger and rabid jealousy. The book devotes due attention to this affair because it is a significant part of the expedition and because it provides an unparalleled portrait of Elizabethan England.