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The Defeat Of The Spanish Armada Paperback – 6 Jul 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; 3rd Revised edition edition (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712666273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712666275
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 586,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A historical masterpiece." - A. L. Rowse"A rare and wonderful book, as readable and exciting as a novel." - J. E. Neale

Book Description

The classic account of one of the world's most famous maritime crusades.'A historical masterpiece.' A.L. Rowse

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 May 2002
Format: Paperback
This history of the Spanish Armada is gripping right from the start - the moment of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. The protagonists are well described, from Philip of Spain to Pope Sixtus V and Queen Elizabeth, through all the military and naval commanders - from the audacious Drake to the brilliant Duke of Parma or the inexperienced Medina-Sidonia. The naval engagements are brought to life as are the land campaigns which, for instance, tried to secure a Flemish port for the Spaniards to use as a spring board for their army in the Netherlands. Fire-ships, men-of-war, galleys rowed by galley slaves, spies, treachery, piracy, the clash between Protestantism and Catholicism... Highly recommended and highly readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Cooper on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
When it first appeared this work was regarded as a tour de force. It won a Pulitzer prize and was a bestseller. It is still a remarkably fine book. Garrett Mattingley was an American historian who established a considerable reputation in Europe, and in particular the UK, as the author of `Renaissance Diplomacy' (1955), which analysed the origins of diplomacy and the diplomatic profession in the courts of fifteenth century Italy. His book on the Spanish Armada appeared in 1959. Unfortunately, Mattingley died prematurely, in Oxford, in 1962.

The book is a straightforward but brilliant account of the defeat of the Armada. Mattingley had served in both World Wars and taught in England, and it reflects the English point of view - note I say English, not British, since the Union of the Crowns had not yet occurred in 1588. This is a masterly account and it is inevitably patriotic, despite the author's nationality. It reflects the warm glow of Anglo-American friendship in a period when the special relationship was still special. It stirred the blood of at least one young English schoolboy.

In England, we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Armada in 1988; but, since Spain and the U.K. were now members of the European Union, it was a politically correct and lukewarm celebration. An exhibition was mounted stressing that the defeat of the Armada was a `close-run thing', like Waterloo; and books were written to that effect by some excellent historians, drawing in particular on the results of marine archaeology (unavailable to Mattingley). The revisionist view was that the Armada had not really been defeated by those pirates Francis Drake and his friends, but by the appalling British weather.

How refreshing, from a strictly chauvinistic point of view, you understand, to return to Mattingley's fine work. No Anglo-Spanish nonsense here. We beat 'em fair and square, lads, after finishing our game of bowls.

Stephen Cooper
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wey_Valley_Books_Ltd on 27 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Although the naval history of the Armada is competently covered here, the main interest of this fascinating book is the diplomatic and military preambles to the event. Mattingly brings to life the characters involved: the brooding, bureaucratic Philip, the professional Farnese, the Jesuit exiles. Their motivations are delineated and the limits of their power to control events are explored.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. Mansfield on 24 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant, detailed, eminently readable account of the Armada, put into the context of European politics of the time. It gives as good a description of Elizabeth I and her relationship with her people and her statesmen as you will find anywhere. It also dispels some of the myths of the Armada, such as the notion that the Spanish were poor seamen, or that Medina Sidonia was incompetent. In all, one of those rare things - an academic piece of writing that is readable and accessible to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 30 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic book ....great prose and a spell-binding subject. The characters emerge with all their human failings and foibles. The tale cannot quite hold its fascination after Gravelines when the Spanish fleet falls apart on its return to Spain but that's the fault of history....until then it's a rip roaring adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Portlander on 9 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Elizabeathan geopolitics made easy. I did not realise the whole why and how or that some rampaging work by Drake possibly changed the course of history. Look out for the story about the hoops and barrels. Totally fascinating, read it by chapter at a time, in small doses. If the History Teacher at Portland Secondary Modern had told us the story this way we would have had the truth, this book was out there in the 1960's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aitor2 on 29 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
this book is not only an amenable description of the battle and the preparations but it shows the intrigue going on in other countries as they coped with religious tensions.
You get the sense that the whole enterprise was rushed up on the grounds of fanatism which was not match for technology and the elements.
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