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Frances Drake Queen's Corsair Circumnavigation 1577-80 A. McKee
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Drakes Journey of Circumnavigation 1577 - 1780

Alexander McKee

First published 1987 by Souvenir Press Ltd.,
Macdonald and Co. (Publishers) Ltd., London
and simultaneously in Canada.

ISBN 0 285 62339 7

A NEAR FINE condition blue cloth bound book with silver lettering to spine. In a VERY GOOD PLUS clipped, publisher's repricing label on bottom of front flap.

Weight unwrapped 0.62 kilo.

£5.00 + P & P

Jacket Blurb

THE QUEEN'S CORSAIR by Alexander McKee

Francis Drake is a legend of our schooldays, pirate of the high seas, hero of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, knighted by England's Queen.

But what kind of man was he? In his lifetime he was described as 'a cowardly knave or traitor,' as 'the vilest villain, falsest thief and cruelest murderer that was ever born'. Yet the circumnavigation of 1577-80 stands as one of the great navigational feats of all time, difficult to denigrate or credit to anyone else. Although its success infuriated his enemies and betters, Drake at once became a popular folk hero in England and a sixteenth century millionaire, buying an abbey for his new home.

In THE QUEEN'S CORSAIR, Alexander McKee brings his unique understanding of seafaring of the period together with his considerable narrative skill, to tell the story of that extraordinary journey, whose quatercentenary this book marks.

This voyage was remarkable for the amount of detailed testimony which it produced, including much reported speech, so that we can almost hear Drake and his crew talking. Not least in importance are the depositions of Drake's prisoners, Spanish, Portugese, Flemings and Greeks. Hitherto, their stories have been little drawn upon. Here are fascinating studies of a sixteenth-century English raider in action off an enemy coast. We grasp Drake's tactics, so bold as to make victory often bloodless, and see something of the strict discipline, the elaborate rituals, the social life, the religious observances — and sense the very real hatreds that under-lay the theological disputes.

We glimpse Drake's techniques for dealing with prisoners, many of whose depositions survive. We learn how he extracted information by alternate harsh and soft treatment and, if that didn't work, then by fright and pain; and how he primed them with the points that he wanted conveyed to the Spanish authorities.

It is doubtful that such a close study of Drake has ever been made. We see him in depth, in close-up, his very words repeated nearly verbatim; under great pressure, at his wit's end what to do. The character which emerges in the end is not after all too unlike the hero of the schoolbooks but his achievements are another matter.They are infinitely greater than we could have imagined.

THE AUTHOR has studied sixteenth-century ships and seafaring for many years. He is the underwater discoverer of the most important ship of the Tudor period, King Henry V III's battleship Mary Rose, entombed beneath the mud at Spithead. In carrying on the preliminary excavation of this ship he has become familiar with the structure and contents of such vessels in a way not open to every historian. Author of some seventeen books, his most recent two, King Henry Mil's Mary Rose and Death Raft, The Human Drama of the Medusa Shipwreck, were both highly acclaimed by the critics.

Jacket design by PAMELA MARA

Jacket photograph of the Golden Hind II on her commemorative voyage from England to San Francisco in 1974-1975. by John Cadd.

ISBN 0 285 62339 7




  1. 'Famous and Rich Discoveries'
    The Genesis of a Venture: 1573-7
  2. ' A Beastlike People'
    From Plymouth to the Cape Verdes: 15 November 1577-1 February 1578
  3. 'Thou Art Not the General's Friend'
    From the 'Burning Isle' to the Coast of Brazil: 2 February-6 April 1578
  4. ' An Enemy to the Voyage'
    From the River of Silver to the Gibbets of St Julian: 6 April-20 June 1578
  5. A Battle with Giants
    Port St Julian: 20-30 June 1578
  6. ' Lo! Here is an End to Traitors!'
    The Trial of Thomas Doughty: Port St Julian: 3o June-2 July 1578
  7. 'Island of Blood'
    Port St Julian: 2 July-17 August 1578
  8. ' The Uttermost Cape'
    The Strait of Magellan to 57° South: 20 August-1 November 1578
  9. Eaten Alive
    On the Coast of Chile: 1 November 1578-19 January 1579
  10. ' A General Dislike of the Voyage'
    The Return of the Elizabeth to Brazil: October I578-February 1579
  11. ' Too Late by Two Hours!'
    The Balance of Forces - Tarapaca to Lima: 4-15 February 1579
  12. " French men ! Frenchmen!'
    The Attack at Lima and Spanish Counter-Measures: February 1579
  13. The Hanging of the Halfbreed Boy
    From Callao to Cape San Francisco: 16 February-1 March 1579
  14. 'Strike Sail!'
    San Juan de Anton and his Treasure Ship: 1-18 March 1579
  15. 'The Way that Half-Dead Men Act'
    Pursuit from Peru: 28 February-13 April 1579 Precautions at Cartagena: April-May 1579
  16. The Last Prizes
    Costa Rica to Nicaragua: 18 March-6 April 1579
  17. The ' Atrocity' at Guatalco Mexico: 13-17 April 1579
  18. ' By Fair or Foul Means'
    In New Spain and Peru: April-July 1579
  19. A New England
    The Pacific and 'Nova Albion': 17 April-25 July 1579
  20. The Shoals of Celebes
    The Pacific: 25 July-3o September 1579
    The Islands: 30 September 1579-26 March 1580
    Africa: 2I May-24 July 1580
    Plymouth: 26 September 1580
  21. `Master Thief of the Unknown World'
    Homecoming and its Aftermath: 1580-1662



These images are intended to show the appearance and the general condition of the book and its jacket. If there is anything about this book you would like to see in anymore detail please email me !
These images are intended to show the appearance and the general condition of the book and its jacket. If there is anything about this book you would like to see in anymore detail please email me !

These images are intended to show the appearance and the general condition of the book and its jacket. If there is anything about this book you would like to see in anymore detail please email me !

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