Sir Francis Drake: British Library Historic Lives Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Sep 2004
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"This is a book that would make Francis Drake proud."
Top Customer Reviews
He was a confirmed Protestant, a patriotic Englishman, devoutly anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic. Early on he was a privateer in Panama and the Caribbean, later he circumnavigated the globe in the Golden Hind, took part in the English defence against the Armada, became Mayor of Plymouth and a MP, died in Panama on another adventure and was buried at sea.
This book is not a hagiography and it describes the man and his times with all his faults. It is intelligently written as would be expected from a book carrying the imprint of The British Library but it is an overview not a long detailed biography. The book has 155 pages, with many black and white or colour illustrations, often contemporary or from the next generation to Sir Francis Drake. The author is an expert in cartography and exploration and thus many of the illustrations are maps from the British Library's own collection.
This is a good introduction to an English sea-dog.
In the same series there is also Queen Elizabeth I (British Library Historic Lives).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
People who I would recommend this book to: Historians, History buffs, people interested in Francis Drake
Rating:10/10 Excellent Book
I tried reading a couple of the books that have many reviews and are much longer, but I found them to be overly detailed and "superfluous" so to speak, and in at least one case, just hard to read. I came upon this book at the library and as soon as I opened it, I knew it would be good. It's too bad it only has one review, but this will be the second. Another reminder that just because a book has limited reviews, doesn't mean a thing. If anything, many books have "fluff" praise whether on Amazon, or on the book itself.
This book is lavishly and beautifully illustrated with full color images of antique maps, paintings, and portraits - all fully identified. It is easy to read too (nice thick paper and font choices). Mr.Whitfield concisely and fairly covers the life of Sir Drake in about 150 pages. Detailed, but not overwhelming is how I would describe this excellent book. The provided illustrations of maps / portraits, etc...go a long way in bringing the story of Sir Drake to "life."
Mr.Whitfield is fair in how he treats Drake, giving him credit where due, and also piercing the hyperbole that follows many famous people in the present and that gets added over time. He also admits to not knowing certain things about Drake, rather than resorting to making too many assumptions.
Specifically -- deep inner motivations - answers that I will shed a little light on, but any more than a few words would be largely out of place in an Amazon review. I'll merely state that there is a good reason that Drake followed much the same path as Magellan on his circumnavigation and that certain events unfolded with striking similarity (Mutiny in St.Julian). And there is a very logical reason that it only took ~16 days (14 is used in the book) for Drake to cross the Strait of Magellan vs ~38 days for Magellan. Maybe...it looked a little familiar....on a subconscious level. This reason also explains why Drake was "one of the finest mariners of his time, bold and adventurous." The reason - because he was a mariner / adventurer in numerous recent past lives, mostly unheralded. It also explains his "character flaws" / at times inconsistent behavior / restlessness as noted in the book. Past lives explains many things about our world, but it is not in the 'box of explanations' for most. Know thy self.
After reading this biography, I am very interested in reading Mr.Whitfield's other works. The combination of images and prose shows me that the author sees more of the "big picture" and is able to articulate in '3-D,' not just 2-D like many other works out there. I am looking forward to reading other books in this series as well - British Historical Lives.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1501-1700
- Books > Biography > Historical > Britain > Military
- Books > Biography > Historical > Britain > Tudors & Stuarts: 1501-1700
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Political > Britain
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Ireland