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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Narrative History At Its Best, 25 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: The Confident Hope Of A Miracle: The True History Of The Spanish Armada (Paperback)
The Spanish Armada is one of those subjects everybody knows of, but like most people I had no idea of the exact details. Generations ago this would probably have been taught in school as one of Englands finest hours, but in recent years its become unfashionable to celebrate Englands victories. So it was that I started reading this book knowing very little about the subject.

The Confident Hope Of A Miracle covers everything you could possibly want to know about the Spanish Armada and it does so in a very readable and enjoyable style. The first half of the book mainly concentrates on the events leading up to and the preperations for the Armada. After that the actions of the Armada itself reads almost like a novel with plenty of colourful descriptions of what it must really have felt like to be there. The book also gives a huge amount of background detail covering naval warfare in the 16th Century and helps explain where Britains naval supremacy really began.

The author, Neil Hanson, is quite neutral throughout the book, showing a great deal of sympathy for both sides in the conflict. He is none too complementary about Elizabeth I however, and highlights again and again her indecisiveness and her stinginess when it came to paying for Englands defence. The real hero of the story is Sir Francis Drake, and this book helped clear up the confusion I had after watching the film 'Elizabeth The Golden Age' where Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh are blended into one person.

I would highly reccomend this book to anyone wanting to know more about the Spanish Armada, the history of the Royal Navy or just more detail about the Elizabethan Age. This really was a major event in British history and, if the Armada had succeeded I would probably have been writing this review in Spanish right now.
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Location: Watford

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