I figured out several ways to externalize some of the conflict in the first two acts of The Stratford Man. This will require some additional scenes, but the book is already ridiculously long, so I don't suppose it matters much. Essentially, the whole political and motivation schema of the first two fifth of the book just came plain to me, along with the agenda os various minor characters, antagonists, and foils.
I am gallantly resisting the urge to get Mary Herbert, Sir Walter Raleigh, or Northumberland into this book. (1) because it's already in dire danger of becoming cluttered and (2) yes, they may be fantastically interesting people, but dammit, I'm up to my neck in interesting people and (3) somebody needs to write a book about Mary Herbert one of these days, and it might as well be me, instead of throwing her away on a cameo.
I'm desperately trying to avoid cameos. They're the bane of every damned historical novel I've ever read, and nothing is more annoying than watching Interesting Personage #5006 trotted onstage for a brief purpose entirely tangential to the plot, and then shuffled offstage again without contributing to any narrative arc major or minor.
I also figured out a character motivation issue and a Plot Twist For Later. Which, I might add, I set up in advance. So my subconscious was obviously on the stick even though it hadn't gotten around to informing my plotters and parsers what was what.
Also, I have a tuna grinder for dinner. And now I am happy.