chapter  12
3 ELIZABETH I 1558–1603
Pages 11

The reign of England’s second queen regnant has its own place in national myth, that of England’s golden age of prosperity, learning and military success, the deeds of national heroes and the earlier plays of William Shakespeare. England’s overseas power developed further, partly through the peaceful activities of such bodies as the Muscovy Company, whose ships had reached the port of Archangel on the White Sea in 1554, and later through the more bellicose exploits of Francis Drake, John Hawkins and others, who made England a serious maritime rival to Spain. Such was the pervasive power of this myth that the accession of the present Queen in February 1952 was hailed as the dawn of a ‘new Elizabethan age’.