Facebook X YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

Elizabethan Rebellions (Hardback)

Conspiracy, Intrigue and Treason

P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > By Century > 17th Century P&S History > Royal History Women of History

By Helene Harrison
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 20 mono
ISBN: 9781399081993
Published: 16th January 2023



You'll be £25.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase Elizabethan Rebellions. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

Other formats available - Buy the Hardback and get the eBook for £1.99! Price
Elizabethan Rebellions ePub (10.2 MB) Add to Basket £4.99

Elizabeth I. Tudor, Queen, Protestant.

Throughout her reign, Elizabeth I had to deal with many rebellions which aimed to undermine her rule and overthrow her. Led in the main by those who wanted religious freedom and to reap the rewards of power, each one was thwarted but left an indelible mark on Queen Elizabeth and her governance of England.

Learning from earlier Tudor rebellions against Elizabeth’s grandfather, father, and siblings, they were dealt with mercilessly by spymaster Francis Walsingham who pushed for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots due to her involvement, and who created one of the first government spy networks in England.

Espionage, spying and hidden ciphers would demonstrate the lengths Mary was willing to go to gain her freedom and how far Elizabeth’s advisors would go to stop her and protect their Virgin Queen. Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were rival queens on the same island, pushed together due to religious intolerance and political instability, which created the perfect conditions for revolt, where power struggles would continue even after Mary’s death.

The Elizabethan period is most often described as a Golden Age; Elizabeth I had the knowledge and insight to deal with cases of conspiracy, intrigue, and treason, and perpetuate her own myth of Gloriana.

"Elizabethan Rebellions: Conspiracy, Intrigue and Treason" by Helene Harrison is a book that I found both insightful and unexpectedly entertaining. Delving into the tumultuous era of Elizabeth I's reign, Harrison masterfully navigates through the complex web of political and religious upheavals that defined Tudor times.

One aspect of the book that particularly stood out to me was the detailed exploration of various rebellions, including those involving Mary Queen of Scots. Harrison’s in-depth analysis of these plots and their impact on the relationship between England and Scotland is fascinating, revealing the intricate dynamics of power, religion, and politics during this period. The exploration of whether these events were rebellions or plots added a layer of intrigue to the narrative, underscoring the ambiguous nature of political dissent in Elizabethan England.

Moreover, Harrison's passion for the subject is evident throughout the book. Her extensive research shines through, making the complexities of Elizabethan politics accessible and engaging. The book’s focus on characters like Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth’s spymaster, adds a human element to the historical narrative, providing a glimpse into the personal lives and motivations of key figures.

This book makes you realise that no matter how bad your family members might be, it could always be worse. Your cousin could be a Tudor. Just saying.

What I particularly enjoyed about this book were the lighter moments that brought a touch of humour to an otherwise serious topic. These moments of levity not only made the book more enjoyable but also highlighted the human side of historical figures, making them more relatable to the reader.

Overall, "Elizabethan Rebellions" is a well-researched and captivating read. It's a book I'd recommend to anyone interested in Tudor history or looking to understand the complexity of Elizabethan era politics. Harrison has done a commendable job of bringing this significant period of history to life with a balance of scholarly insight and engaging storytelling.

NetGalley, Ionia Froment

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The reign of Elizabeth I is remembered as the Golden Age but she did face multiple attempts to overthrow her and replace her on the throne.

Helene Harrison delves into five rebellions faced by Elizabeth including those centred around Mary Queen of Scots and the final rebellion of her reign by the Earl of Essex.
This book doesn't just give details of the rebellions but discusses those involved and the impact on participants and those around Elizabeth. Elizabeth was extremely lucky to have the network of Francis Walsingham who unfortunately had to pay his spies himself. For the service his network provided you would think Elizabeth would be more than happy to reward and finance this circle but surprisingly not.

Helene Harrison also discusses how those outside of England were involved in the rebellions.
It is fascinating to read how the schemes and plots were uncovered, particularly those involving Mary Queen of Scots. Helene reviews how these plots affected the relationship between England and Scotland and the reaction of Mary's son, the future James I.

It is interesting how each is reviewed in detail with the question of whether it was a rebellion or a plot.

It is apparent Helene Harrison has done alot of research on this subject and her passion for the topic shines through in her writing.
For anyone interested in knowing more about the plots and rebellions of the Elizabethan era I'd recommend this book.

Lastly I just want to add some appreciation for this cover, I really like it. The small details of Elizabeth's signature and coded words are wonderful!

NetGalley, Amy McElroy

This is a must read for Tudor history lovers and I know I will be coming back to it time and time again as a useful reference book. It’s also one of those books that you can dip in and out of quite easily which is always nice if you’re going through a busy period of life!

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @historywithmegs

Overall, a great book and, although it’s obviously well researched, it reads more as an overview so it’s informative, but not overly complex which makes the read more enjoyable.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @tattooedliteraryresearcher

It's brilliantly written and I thoroughly enjoyed this one! The cover is gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing 😍.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @bookshelf_wonders

The book is an easy read and more overview than deep study so very accessible and enjoyable to all type of reader. Great for all Tudor lovers.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @historic_rabbithole

A must read if you enjoy reading about History and the Tudor era.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @georgi_lvs_books

This book is intriguing and very well researched and written.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @historywithkel

In all, this is the perfect book for casual readers and researchers alike.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @bethshistoricalblog

Informative, interesting and beautifully written. A must for all history fans.

Read the Review on Instagram

Instagram - @littlemissbooklover87

An articulate and well-written book, I would think those that are students and people who would like to learn more will get the most out of this excellent read.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

A fascinating and informative look at the Catholics rebellions against Elizabeth Tudor and the backlash they caused.

NetGalley, Caroline Palmer

A very interesting read, well written and informative. I would thoroughly recommend this book to everyone interested in English history. A real page turner.

NetGalley, Lional Jones

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A really great read if you love history, and Elizabeth I reign as queen and some of the challenges she faced along the way. Some of which had not been spoken about in public a lot.

NetGalley, Daniel Colbert

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The struggle to be a king or queen in any country during Europe’s medieval or early modern era was only the beginning. They are either the next in line to the throne and inherit the crown, or they sometimes fight to the death to wear it. After the king or queen settles into ruling their respective countries, the real challenge emerges as they have to deal with rebellions and those who commit treason against their monarch. Take, for example, what happened during the reign of Elizabeth I. We consider her reign the “Golden Age” in English history. Still, she had to deal with numerous rebellions and conspiracies surrounding her viewpoints on religion and how she dealt with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. In her first book, “Elizabethan Rebellions: Conspiracy, Intrigue, and Treason,” Helene Harrison takes an in-depth look at each rebellion and how they left a mark on Elizabeth I’s reign.

Thank you, Pen and Sword Books and Net Galley, for sending me a copy of this book. When I heard about this title online, I was intrigued since many of these rebellions have been covered in books about Mary Queen of Scots or biographies about Elizabeth I. Still, this is the first time I have seen a book about Elizabethan conspiracies.

Harrison begins by showing how early Tudor rebellions shaped the reigns of Elizabeth’s family and how the early uprisings affected her time as Queen of England. Beginning with her grandfather, King Henry VII, and the pretenders’ rebellions of Lambert Simnel and Perkins Warbeck, we see how important it was to take action against those who threatened to overthrow the Tudors before they even began their rule in earnest. Under Henry VIII, we see the Pilgrimage of Grace, protesting against Protestantism and for the return of Catholicism after the break from Rome. Elizabeth is considered one of the main actors behind the Wyatt Rebellion of 1554 under her sister Queen Mary I.

These previous events would help shape how Elizabeth I dealt with the five significant rebellions during her reign. These five rebellions were: the Northern Rising, Ridolfi Plot, Throckmorton Plot, Babington Plot, and the Essex Rebellion. Four of the five rebellions had something to do with Mary Queen of Scots and the battle between Protestantism versus Catholicism. In contrast, the Essex Rebellion, the final rebellion Elizabeth I dealt with, was more about a spoiled courtier not getting his way in life and blaming it on Elizabeth.

Harrison does not do a typical overview of each rebellion. Instead, she takes a deep dive into the timeline of each event, who was involved, and how they came crashing down. Each rebellion had a unique signature, from espionage and intrigue to acts of treason and secret codes. Every experience taught Elizabeth a different lesson about what it meant to be a ruler of England. I found this book informative and well-written. I learned new elements of each rebellion, which I thought I knew pretty well. For her first book, Helene Harrison does a great job sharing her points and showing how these rebellions shaped Elizabeth I’s reign. Suppose you want a book that explains the different power struggles Elizabeth I had to deal with during her reign. In that case, I recommend reading “Elizabethan Rebellions: Conspiracy, Intrigue, and Treason” by Helene Harrison.

NetGalley, Heidi Malagisi

In this book, Helene Harrison conducts a forensic examination of the five rebellions which occurred during Queen Elizabeth 1's reign, including the Northern Rising, the Throckmorton Rebellion and the Babington Plot. The first one was mainly about disaffection with the nobility, but most of the plots revolved around Mary, Queen of Scots, who most Catholics saw as either the true Queen, or the successor to Elizabeth. Three were especially dangerous, because of the dangers of a Spanish invasion helped by the Catholic French. However, the Babington Plot, which brought about Mary's downfall, was probably designed to entrap her, so that Elizabeth would finally decide to execute her own cousin, and a former Queen. This decision, even if Mary was a traitor, is hugely controversial, even today.

The last rebellion, the Essex Rebellion, was probably caused by selfishness, and delusions of grandeur on the part of the former Queen's favourite, the handsome, young and over-ambitious Earl of Essex.

This was easy to read, and always interesting, especially for Tudor fans.

NetGalley, Lisa Sanderson

“Elizabeth had to deal with several rebellions during her reign. It was the longest reign of any Tudor monarch and is often considered a ‘Golden Age’ in spite of the religious and political upheaval which occurred during this period.”

Helene Harrison discusses the five rebellions that happened during Elizabeth’s reign.

Helene has done a lot of research here and out a lot of effort into this book.

It has made me discover more about the tudors and therefore I want to read even more books on this topic!

My favourite rebellions to read about was the Badington Plot in 1586.

The perfect read for historical readers.

“Elizabeth understood threats to her throne, and she acted to make sure her throne and her power were safe.”

NetGalley, Georgi B

This was a short read at less than three hundred pages, but it brings in three of the most notable historical figures of the time: Francis Walsingham, responsible for building and controlling a vast royal spy network, Elizabeth I, the queen surrounded by plots on all sides (real and imagined), and Mary, Queen of Scots, a maligned and often tragic figure. I felt that this book could have been double the length it was, as there's a seemingly endless amount of information to learn. Keeping the book under three hundred pages though, means this is a perfect book to read if you want a short and focused overview of the plots and intrigue that occurred under Elizabeth I.

NetGalley, Spencer Wright

I loved this detailed and insightful account of an often under-reported aspect of Elizabeth I’s reign. The book shows the challenges which were faced in a way which is more about tactics and politics than Elizabeth as a female ruler, and I think this is a huge advance on many other historical accounts of her reign. It is well written and done in such a way as to be accessible even if you are new to the Tudor period.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

About Helene Harrison

Helene Harrison studied at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, achieving both a BA and an MA in History before going on to complete an MSc in Library Management. Her passion for Tudor history started when studying for A Levels and completing a module on Tudor rebellions. Her Masters dissertation focused on portrayals of Anne Boleyn through the centuries, from contemporary letters to modern TV and film adaptations. Now she writes two blogs, one Tudor history and one book-related, and loves visiting royal palaces and snuggling up with a book or embroidery project.
Follow on Twitter: @TudorBlogger

Perfect Partner

Rebellion in the Middle Ages Fight Against the Crown (Hardback)

Shakespeare’s Henry IV lamented ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. It was true of that king’s reign and of many others before and after. From Hereward the Wake’s guerilla war, resisting the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror, through the Anarchy, the murder of Thomas Becket, the rebellions of Henry II’s sons, the deposition of Edward II, the Peasants’ Revolt and the rise of the over-mighty noble subject that led to the Wars of the Roses, kings throughout the medieval period came under threat from rebellions and resistance that sprang from the nobility, the Church…

By Matthew Lewis

Click here to buy both titles for £50.00
More titles by Helene Harrison

Other titles in Pen & Sword History...