John Harington regards Jeffrey Archer, bestselling novelist & peer, as his modern counterpart. By comparing Jeffrey's extraordinary life with his own, he seeks to understand his own actions and relationships.
Sir John was Queen Elizabeth's favourite & sauciest Godson. A famous, controversial writer, he invented the flush toilet.
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This historical novel is a fictionalised account of the influence of Sir John Harington during Queen Elizabeth I's long reign. He was a courtier, wit, inventor, reluctant soldier and favourite Godson of the Queen who, in his day, was better known for his writings than Shakespeare.
The novel takes the form of an autobiography. From his four hundred year old grave, Sir John Harington looks back at his impetuous relationships with his wife; his Queen and Godmother; his mother-in-law; his black shadow, Richard Topcliffe; his patron, the Earl of Essex; his bête noire, Walter Raleigh, and his neighbours, William and Robert Cecil, principal ministers of England.
To understand the ups and downs of his life, he compares what happened to him with the remarkable literary and political career of Jeffrey Archer, bestselling modern author, convict and peer of England.
The last time I saw my mother was the day that I determined to become a writer. I had come to London to watch men having their hands cut off. My upbringing was unlike Jeffrey's.