Adventurous and wilful, the swashbuckling Martin Frobisher was both a brave sea-commander who served Elizabeth I with distinction and a privateer who single-mindedly pursued his own interests. This highly entertaining biography provides the first complete picture of the life and exploits of Frobisher, from his voyages in search of the fabled Northwest Passage to his courageous resistance to the Spanish Armada and his activities as privateer and sometime pirate. The book explores Frobisher's vigorous personality and its manifestation in the turbulence of his career and his impact on others. It also illuminates the robust world of maritime enterprise in the sixteenth century, when the shifting objectives of the Elizabethan age brought together felons, merchants, and great officers of state. James McDermott, a leading authority on Martin Frobisher and the Northwest Passage, offers a riveting account of the explorer, based on all extant manuscript and documentary sources. McDermott sets aside the distortions of Frobisher's popular reputation as a hero and offers instead a richly detailed portrait of a fascinating but flawed man whose ceaseless search for wealth and fame defined his ext
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James McDermott is an independent scholar and former special adviser to the Canadian Museum of Civilization's Meta Incognita Project.From Publishers Weekly:
Frobisher Bay in the Canadian subarctic and a plaque at St. Giles Cripplegate in London are all that remain of the memory of Sir Martin Frobisher (1535-1594). McDermott's crowded biography, as thorough a life of the elusive adventurer as the relatively few available facts make possible, traces his checkered career from a stark Yorkshire boyhood to the coasts of Africa and North America, and his privateering on the Atlantic to his later undertakings for Queen Elizabeth. McDermott fills in the gaps with supposition and parallel descriptions of such seafaring contemporaries as Drake and Hawkings, veering off into material that few readers, other than aficionados of privateering and particularly those knowledgeable about antique nautical terms, would care to know. Frobisher's three unrewarding voyages to barren "Meta Incognita" (now Baffin Island) in search of a northwest passage to the Orient and failed get-rich-quick scheme to mine for gold in Inuit country left him in need of money, and so he resumed his semi-official piracy of foreign ships. Elizabeth, who in 1588 was in need of a tough captain, made Frobisher a vice-admiral, and his role in thwarting the Spanish Armada earned him a knighthood. Despite the dry prose, independent historian McDermott, who has been researching his hero for 30 years, successfully evokes the life of an admittedly unlikable character, as he survived the downside of ambition and climbed upward no matter what the cost to others. Ultimately, the fame of his "brief asides" into legitimacy, even his heroic death during a mission "under the authority of the Broad Seal of England," McDermott concludes with apparent sadness, "should not disguise the truth of a career whose despoliations had defined Martin Frobisher." Color illus. not seen by PW.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria MR11E1006
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0300083807
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