"In the whole history of the English people there is no period so absolutely heroic, so full of enthralling interest, as that in which the might of England made itself apparent by land and sea - the period which saw good Queen Bess mistress of English hearts and Englishmen and sovereign of the great beginnings which have come to such a magnificent fruition under Victoria. That was indeed a golden time - an age of great venture and enterprise - a period wherein men's hearts were set on personal valor and bravery - the day of great deeds and of courage most marvelous." -- J.S. Fletcher (from the introduction)
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