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Drake's Great Armada   By: (-1586)

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In his historically rich and meticulously written book, Walter Bigges examines one of the most pivotal events in maritime history – the ill-fated journey of Drake's Great Armada. This engaging account takes readers on a thrilling voyage back to the 16th century, offering a fresh perspective on the Spanish Armada's clash with the legendary English seafarer, Sir Francis Drake.

Bigges weaves an intricate tapestry of historical facts, seamlessly blending archival research with compelling storytelling. Through meticulous attention to detail, the author vividly brings to life the personalities, motives, and strategies of the notable figures who shaped this awe-inspiring chapter of history. His in-depth character analysis enables readers to better understand the complex dynamics of power, rivalry, and patriotism at play during this tumultuous era.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this book is Bigges' ability to convey the true magnitude of the events surrounding Drake's Great Armada. The author's descriptive prowess casts readers straight onto the decks of the opposing fleets, allowing them to experience the terror, courage, and resilience of the sailors firsthand. The authenticity and emotional depth with which Bigges portrays these dramatic moments are truly commendable, immersing readers in a world filled with relentless sea battles, towering galleons, and daring naval tactics.

In addition to the enthralling storytelling techniques, Bigges achieves a fine balance between informative historical writing and accessibility. Expertly combining extensive research with a fluid narrative style, he successfully caters to both history enthusiasts and general readers alike. While providing comprehensive explanations of the political and social backdrop, the author never loses sight of the book's primary focus – the epic clash between two formidable naval powers.

Moreover, Drake's Great Armada serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of human ambitions and the unpredictable forces of nature. Bigges artfully brings to light the catastrophic consequences of hubris and overconfidence, illustrating how even the mightiest armadas can be reduced to ruin when confronted by the relentless fury of the ocean. This cautionary tale serves as a humbling reminder of the inherent risks accompanying any ambitious endeavor.

The book's only minor drawback lies in its occasional moments of dense historical terminology, which may require some additional effort on the reader's part. However, this is quickly overshadowed by the overall enjoyment and knowledge gained from reading such a captivating piece of historical non-fiction.

In conclusion, Drake's Great Armada is an impressive work that seamlessly marries meticulous research with captivating storytelling. Walter Bigges' masterful account of this monumental clash between the Spanish and English fleets offers an invaluable window into a pivotal moment in history. This book is bound to captivate the imagination of history enthusiasts, while also proving to be an accessible and enlightening read for a wider audience.

First Page:


by Captain Walter Biggs


This text was prepared from a 1910 edition, published by P. F. Collier & Son Company, New York.


Nearly five years elapsed between Drake's return from his Famous Voyage and the despatch of the formidable armament commemorated in the following pages. During the last of these years the march of events had been remarkably rapid. Gilbert, who had been empowered by Elizabeth, in the year of Frobisher's last expedition, to found colonies in America, had sailed for that purpose to Newfoundland (1583), and had perished at sea on his way homeward. Raleigh, who had succeeded to his half brother's enterprises, had despatched his exploring expedition to 'Virginia,' under Amadas and Barlow, in 1584, and had followed it up in the next year (1585) by an actual colony. In April Sir Richard Greenville sailed from Plymouth, and at Raleigh's expense established above a hundred colonists on the island of Roanoak. Drake's Great Armada left Plymouth in September of the same year. It marked a turning point in the relations between the English and Spanish monarchs. Elizabeth, knowing that the suppression of the insurrection in the Netherlands would be followed by an attack upon England, was treating with the insurgents. Philip deemed it prudent to lay an embargo on all her subjects, together with their ships and goods, that might be found in his dominions... Continue reading book >>

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