Sea King

Sea King

Sir Francis Drake and His Times

by Albert Marrin
Publisher: Atheneum
Hardcover, 168 pages
Current Retail Price: $18.00
Not in stock

An account of the life and exploits of the notable sixteenth-century English navigator and commander, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and vice-admiral of the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada.


"Master Drake," [Her Majesty] said solemnly, a slight frown on her face. "The King of Spain has asked for your head, and we have a weapon here with which to remove it."

One of the court gentlemen gave her a gilded sword, which she banded to a visiting French nobleman. "We shall ask Monsieur to be the headsman."

No one quite knew what to expect until it happened. The Frenchman stepped forward and tapped Drake's right shoulder with the flat of the blade.

At that, instead of beheading him, Queen Elizabeth dubbed him Sir Francis Drake, for she was much indebted to him. At a time when Spain and Portugal ruled the waters of the world, Sir Francis Drake was the answer to England's prayers.

Masters in overseas exploration by the end of the fifteenth century, Spain and Portugal claimed new lands, as well as any yet-to-be discovered lands, for themselves. England, weary of Spanish and Portuguese domination and wealth, was badly in need of a sea hero. Sir Francis Drake seemed to fit all the qualifications.

Drake was a man of many facets. One of the greatest mariners to sail the sea, he was a superb navigator and commander. He was also a driving leader, a persuasive preacher, and a warm person who loved children. An unusually kind sea captain for his day, he almost always freed his prisoners and often gave them gifts. However, he would not allow his authority to be questioned, and he could be ruthless if anyone or anything deliberately stood in his way.

Albert Marrin has a remarkable way of conveying to readers the life and times of this fascinating historical figure. The Sea King will take readers on a journey through the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, the often unbearable circumstances of life at sea, and the dramatic adventures of the Spanish Armada.

from the dust jacket

Did you find this review helpful?