Sir Francis Drake: The Queen`s Pirate

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9780300084634: Sir Francis Drake: The Queen`s Pirate

In this lively and engaging new biography, Harry Kelsey shatters the familiar image of Sir Francis Drake. The Drake of legend was a pious, brave, and just seaman who initiated the move to make England a great naval power and whose acts of piracy against his country’s enemies earned him a knighthood for patriotism. Kelsey paints a different and far more interesting picture of Drake as an amoral privateer at least as interested in lining his pockets with Spanish booty as in forwarding the political goals of his country, a man who became a captain general of the English navy, but never waged traditional warfare with any success.

Drawing on much new evidence, Kelsey describes Drake’s early life as the son of a poor family in sixteenth-century England. He explains how Drake dabbled in piracy, gained modest success as a merchant, and then took advantage of the hostility between Spain and England to embark on a series of daring pirate raids on undefended Spanish ships and ports, preempting Spanish demands for punishment by sharing much of his booty with the Queen and her councillors. Elizabeth I liked Drake because he was a charming rogue, and she made him an integral part of her war plans against Spain and its armada, but she quickly learned not to trust him with an important command: he was unable to handle a large fleet, was suspicious almost to the point of paranoia, and had no understanding of personal loyalty. For Drake, the mark of success was to amass great wealth, preferably by taking it from someone else and the primary purpose of warfare was to afford him the opportunity to accomplish this.

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Review:

Remembered in standard history texts as an adventurer who helped extend England's maritime empire to the coasts of Africa and the Americas, Francis Drake roamed the world under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. He enriched her coffers by attacking Spanish merchant ships in the Caribbean, raiding ports, looting churches, and taking a cut of the slave trade--the acts not of a military man, Harry Kelsey argues, but of a pirate, and of a cowardly one at that as he was given to fleeing at the first sign of danger, leaving his men behind. Even so, for his services Elizabeth awarded Drake a knighthood and a degree of immunity until he failed to appear at his post during a naval engagement against ships of the Spanish armada. He then lost the queen's favor and disappeared from history's stage. Drake has few champions today, certainly fewer than he did in Elizabethan times. Even then he was none too popular. This well-written revisionist biography explains why. --Gregory McNamee

From the Inside Flap:

In this lively biography, Harry Kelsey shatters the legend of Sir Francis Drake. Drawing on much new evidence, he replaces the familiar image of a pious, brave, and just seaman with a more interesting picture of an amoral privateer at least as interested in lining his pockets with Spanish booty as in forwarding the political goals of his country.

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Harry Kelsey
Editore: Yale University Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0300084633 ISBN 13: 9780300084634
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0300084633

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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, 2017. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. This item is printed on demand. Codice libro della libreria P110300084633

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Harry Kelsey
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this lively and engaging new biography, Harry Kelsey shatters the familiar image of Sir Francis Drake. The Drake of legend was a pious, brave, and just seaman who initiated the move to make England a great naval power and whose acts of piracy against his country s enemies earned him a knighthood for patriotism. Kelsey paints a different and far more interesting picture of Drake as an amoral privateer at least as interested in lining his pockets with Spanish booty as in forwarding the political goals of his country, a man who became a captain general of the English navy, but never waged traditional warfare with any success. Drawing on much new evidence, Kelsey describes Drake s early life as the son of a poor family in sixteenth-century England. He explains how Drake dabbled in piracy, gained modest success as a merchant, and then took advantage of the hostility between Spain and England to embark on a series of daring pirate raids on undefended Spanish ships and ports, preempting Spanish demands for punishment by sharing much of his booty with the Queen and her councillors.Elizabeth I liked Drake because he was a charming rogue, and she made him an integral part of her war plans against Spain and its armada, but she quickly learned not to trust him with an important command: he was unable to handle a large fleet, was suspicious almost to the point of paranoia, and had no understanding of personal loyalty. For Drake, the mark of success was to amass great wealth, preferably by taking it from someone else and the primary purpose of warfare was to afford him the opportunity to accomplish this. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780300084634

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Harry Kelsey
Editore: Yale University Press, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0300084633 ISBN 13: 9780300084634
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this lively and engaging new biography, Harry Kelsey shatters the familiar image of Sir Francis Drake. The Drake of legend was a pious, brave, and just seaman who initiated the move to make England a great naval power and whose acts of pirac against his country s enemies earned him a knighthood for patriotism. Kelsey paints a different and far more interesting picture of Drake as an amoral privateer at least as interested in lining his pockets with Spanish booty as in forwarding the political goals of his country, a man who became a captain general of the English navy but never waged traditional warfare with any success.Drawing on much new evidence, Kelsey describes Drake s early life as the son of a poor family in sixteenth-century England. He explains how Drake dabbled in piracy, gained modest success as a merchant, and then took advantage of the hostility between Spain and England to embark on a series of daring pirate raids on undefended Spanish ships and ports, preempting Spanish demands for punishment by sharing much of the his booty with the Queen and her councillors. Elizabeth I liked Drake because he was a charming rogue, and she made him an integral part of her war plans against Spain and its armada, but she quickly learned not to trust him with an important command: he was unable to handle a large fleet, was suspicious almost to the point of paranoia, and had no understanding of personal loyalty. For Drake, the mark of success was to amass great wealth---preferably by taking it from someone else---and the primary purpose of warfare was to afford him the opportunity to accomplish this. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780300084634

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