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Grenville Paperback – Aug 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: North Devon Museum Trust (Aug. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0950401838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0950401836
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 14.6 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,595,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
If my reported genealogy is correct, then Richard Grenville is or rather was my seventh cousin, twelve times removed! But that is only one cause for discovering more about cousin Rich, for Grenville's life is of interest for many more reasons.

Alison Grant's concise biography appeared in 1991, the 400th anniversary of his death. Published by the North Devon Museums Trust, its eighty-four pages comprise an introduction and eleven short chapters. Grant writes well and conveys to the reader her enthusiasm and interest in her subject. Whilst often perhaps being too much of an apologist for Grenville's actions in Ireland and against Catholics in Cornwall, she aims for an even-handed approach.

In her introduction, Grant writes how "the ground is so thoroughly covered in the standard autobiography, A. L. Rowse's `Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge', first published in 1937. There is nothing to add to this well-researched, full-length work, but I believe there is room for a short study for general readers." Quite how Rowse's work can be classed an AUTObiography is unknown to me, but Grant's arrogant assertion (unbecoming of a historian) in claiming that all the relevant repositories have been fully mined - "there are no fresh sources to examine" - is clearly in error. For example, in 1992 Peter Earle came out with his `The Last Fight of the Revenge', in which he made full use of unpublished but "abundant source material" in Spanish archives.

After telling Grenville's story in brief chronological chapters, Grant manages to give a sample flavour of Elizabethan life, whether it be on the quays of Bideford or on the eastern seaboard of Virginia. He was certainly a man with a part to play on the national stage.
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