Elizabeth, Queen of England, has enemies everywhere.
If you can read and write, if you can tell lies with quill or voice, you might have a place as a peddler of bombast, as a player of parts, as a nefarious practitioner of the business of show… or as a spy. For all the world is a stage and the great lords of England and abroad are writing the parts that lackeys, liars, agents, and actors shall play.
Show business and skulduggery are tangled together–here like lovers, there like brawlers–and all those within reach of politics and art must balance their secrets against their ambitions. Love and lust and loyalty are all called into question as poets seek the literature of the age and spymasters seek the enemies of the crown.
Yet for all that the strife of the age claims to be about crowns and kingdoms, so much comes down to the common quagmires of coins and cons, jealousy and greed, love and spite. Petty gripes and dirty designs conspire to determine the fate of England. Some folk may hang or burn and some may slip away smelling of roses.
But, for sure, a reckoning draws nigh.