Sir Francis Drake
The Queen's PirateBook - 1998
In this biography, Harry Kelsey seeks to shatter the familiar image of Sir Francis Drake. The Drake of legend was a pious, brave and just seaman who initiated the move to make England a great naval power and whose acts of piracy against his countries enemies earned him a knighthood for patriotism. Kelsey paints a different picture of Drake as an amoral privateer at least as interested in lining his pockets with Spanish booty as in forwarding the political goals of his country, a man who became a captain general of the English navy but never waged traditional warfare with any success. Drawing on much new evidence, Kelsey describes Drake's early life as the son of a poor family in 16th-century England. He explains how Drake dabbled in piracy, gained modest success as a merchant, and then took advantage of the hostility between Spain and England to embark on a series of pirate raids on undefended Spanish ships and ports, preempting Spanish demands for punishment by sharing much of his booty with the Queen and her councillors.
Publisher: New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c1998
Characteristics: xviii, 566 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm