Francis Drake Essay

Francis Drake Essay

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The year was 1575, Queen Elizabeth I summoned a seasoned mariner by the name of Francis Drake for a meeting that was deeply shrouded in secrecy. Details regarding this meeting were kept from the public eye for many years, until well after the death of Francis Drake. This rendezvous was so secret, the Queen specifically ordered Drake to keep this secret from even one of her most trusted advisor, Lord Treasurer Burghley. The Queen commanded that no one involved discuss the specifics with anyone on pain of death.
Bawlf, the author of The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, provides an in-depth account of what happened on that mysterious voyage as well as the precedent events and the aftermath. The 400-page book recounts the life and death of English mariner, explorer, adventurer, privateer, and eventual knight, Sir Francis Drake. Highlighting Drake’s greatest accomplishments at sea, Bawlf is able to capture the image of a compassionate yet stern captain who was respected by his shipmates and beloved by all of England. In addition to the approval earned from his Queen and his country, Drake was also infamous in Spain as a privateer who specifically preyed on the Spanish merchant fleets in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific. The Spanish would not hesitate to consider Drake a pirate.
Bawlf uses his experience spent on the ocean, travelling up and down North America’s northwest coast from Alaska to San Francisco, as well as his love for maritime history to lend credence to his unique perspective. His background also serves to provide the reader with a particular writing style in order to shed new light on the voyage that remained secret, to almost everyone, until well after Francis Drakes death in 1596. The book is subdivided into ...


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...and catalogued in a page that lists all of his citations and sources. All of these are organized neatly under the sections “Notes” and “Bibliography.”
This book left me with a newfound admiration and curiosity for Sir Francis Drake. A man commonly seen by the Spanish as a pirate who treated his captors with such respect to pay them would not deserve such a title. However, the political climate of the times led to propaganda being produced by the Spanish, and cover-ups by the English. Whether one admires, or despises, Sir Francis Drake, it is difficult to doubt how worldly he was and to discount his contributions to maritime charting of the northwestern North American continent, even though details written in his journals have since been lost, and failed to come to light in the first place until after his death.



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the Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake

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