Favourite, foe, rival - a gripping tale of the countess who dared cross a queen amidst the dangerous intrigues of Elizabethan England.
A kinswoman to Elizabeth I, Lettice Knollys had begun the Queen's glittering reign basking in favour and success. It was an honour that she would enjoy for two decades.
However, in September 1578 Lettice had dared to marry without the Queen's consent, and worse, her new husband was Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the Queen's favourite and one-time suitor.
Though she would not marry him herself, Elizabeth was fiercely jealous of any woman who showed an interest in Leicester. Knowing that she would likely earn the Queen's enmity, Lettice married Leicester in secret, leading to her permanent banishment from court; Elizabeth never forgave the new Countess for what she perceived to be a devastating betrayal.
But the Countess' story does not end there. Surviving the death of two husbands and navigating the courts of three very different monarchs: Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Charles I, Lettice's story offers an extraordinary and intimate perspective on the world she lived in.