The 16th century was indeed a great century.
It was marked by great changes and great events:the discovery of new lands and of the Pacific Ocean, the circumnavigation of the world and more precise evaluation of its real size, the Copernicana theory which revolution education planetary astronomy, the achievements of Galilei, just to mention the most important.
Europe was shaken by a religious revolution, the Reformation, and by an intellectual revolution , the Reformation, and by an intellectual revolution, the Renaissance.
The Reformation, which took place under Henry, gave England a Church independent of the Pope, which gradually became more Protestant and during Elizabeth's reign reached a balance between Catholic and Protestant the elements.
It was against this background of religious reformation that the spirito the Renaissance developed in England.
The Renaissance had started in Italy, and the new ideas spread across Europe in millions of printed books, which had now replaced handwriting.
The influence of this rebirth of intellectual curiosity was manifold: literary, scientific, artistic.
There was the discovery of the mental and physical potential of man, who was assumed to be interested in all kinds of knowledge and to possess the power to create his fortunes and control the world.