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Kenilworth - Walter Scott

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by Sir Walter Scott, Bart.


A certain degree of success, real or supposed, in the delineation
of Queen Mary, naturally induced the author to attempt something
similar respecting "her sister and her foe," the celebrated
Elizabeth.  He will not, however, pretend to have approached the
task with the same feelings; for the candid Robertson himself
confesses having felt the prejudices with which a Scottishman is
tempted to regard the subject; and what so liberal a historian
avows, a poor romance-writer dares not disown.  But he hopes the
influence of a prejudice, almost as natural to him as his native
air, will not be found to have greatly affected the sketch he has
attempted of England's Elizabeth.  I have endeavoured to describe
her as at once a high-minded sovereign, and a female of
passionate feelings, hesitating betwixt the sense of her rank and
the duty she owed her subjects on the one hand, and on the other
her attachment to a nobleman, who, in external qualifications at
least, amply merited her favour.  The interest of the story is
thrown upon that period when the sudden death of the first
Countess of Leicester seemed to open to the ambition of her
husband the opportunity of sharing the crown of his sovereign.

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