Is Queen Elizabeth I too wily or too afraid to marry? Or is there a spoiler -- Lettice Devereaux -- in the royal romances? The marriage between this beautiful and tempestuous widow and Elizabeth's longtime favorite, the Earl of Leicester, can't have endeared Lettice to the queen.
Some years later, on Leicester's death, another courtier wins the queen's heart -- only to break it by secretly marrying someone else and then by plotting against the Crown. This soldier-poet, the Earl of Essex, is the son of Lettice and her first husband, Walter Devereaux.