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Stephen Alford. Burghley: William Cecil at the Court of Elizabeth I.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. xv + 412 pp. + 14 b/w pls. index. illus. tbls. chron. bibl. $45. ISBN: 978-0-300-11896-4.
Stephen Alford, whose previous two books focused on the political activity of William Cecil in the reign of Edward VI and the first decade of Elizabeth's long reign, now gives us a full biography of the statesman who dominated politics for half a century. Although each of these volumes demonstrates that he has mastered the voluminous papers of Sir William Cecil, after 1571 Lord Burghley, it is reasonable to ask what Alford can add to Conyers Read's previous biography (which is three times …