Drake: The Life and Legend of an Elizabethan Hero

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Pocket Books, 2005 - 337 pages
Sir Francis Drake: pirate, explorer and Protestant zealot, a man princely in his bearing, heroic if sometimes foolhardy in his enterprise, a genius at once awe-inspiring and riddled with faults. He is the archetypal Elizabethan sea-dog, and Stephen Coote's brilliant new book rescues him from the dusty pages of history to breathe new life into one of the great maritime adventure stories. Focusing on the episodes that made Drake's reputation -- and exploring not just the nature of that reputation but how it also, for better or worse, came to epitomise a sense of nationhood -- Stephen Coote re-creates all the excitement and terror of the raids on Spanish Caribbean ports during Drake's privateering days; the extraordinary feat of the circumnavigation aboard the 'Golden Hind'; and Drake's role in the famous defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Told with novelistic verve, DRAKE is a thoroughly modern re-assessment of a man who embodied all the ebullient courage and personal shortcomings of the great age of Elizabethan expansion. Was Drake just a rabid anti-papist, a state-sponsored terrorist and slaver? Or was he the embodiment of English sang-froid, an empire-builder and hero? This gripping and entertaining biography gives us a picture of the man altogether richer and more interesting than we could have imagined.

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User Review  - Miro - LibraryThing

Coote's book contains an interesting discussion of the way in which the Victorians edited the history of Drake to conform with their need for heroic early founders of the British empire. He makes ... Read full review


Map of Drakes Caribbean and theVoyage of 15851586 xi
The Caribbean Pirate 15701573
The Circumnavigation of the Globe

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About the author (2005)

Stephen Coote was educated at Magdelene College, Cambridge and at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of several acclaimed biographies including lives of Charles II, W. B. Yeats, John Keats and, most recently, Samuel Pepys: according to the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, 'A subtle and intelligent portrait, not just of the man, but of the volatile political milieu in which he moved.'

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