Born into poverty just as England enters her most glorious phase of history, Richard Mudford is no fool. As he rises through the ranks, and experiences all from the Spanish Armada to the Essex Rebellion, he must face the ultimate question: will his ambition triumph or his love?
England in 1588 has never seen such peril. At sea, the formidable Spanish fleet prepares to invade. On land, rumours, mistrust and fear are rife. For Richard Mudford, sometime privateer, artillery man and town sergeant, these are momentous times when a clever man without too many scruples can make a name and fortune. Born in Southampton, Mudford begins his journey by allying himself to ruthless John Crooke, but others like the scheming Alderman Biston resent Mudford’s progress and are relentless in trying to bring him to disaster. Burdened with a brother Jack who has one foot on the gallows, Richard needs to do more if he is become a successful merchant, he needs to make a good marriage.
He rejects the woman he truly loves, Alice Dypere, a widow with young children, and instead makes an alliance with the French Sohier family. His marriage almost costs him his life and he has no choice but to ally himself to Francis Drake and the ambitious young Earl of Essex to thread his way through the murky politics of Queen Elizabeth’s sunset days. As a new monarch heralds a new era, Richard must decide if he still wants to conquer the theatre of the world or take one last chance on love.
The Theatre of the World
follows a young man as he battles with himself about the importance of love over ambition. This novel will appeal to fans of historical fiction, particularly those with a strong interest in the late 16th century.