SIR FRANCIS DRAKE by George Malcolm Thomson

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An exuberant Boys' Life rendition of corsairs on the Spanish Main which features Drake as a sporting, seafaring Robin Hood jovially relieving Spanish ships of their New World treasures from Santa Domingo to Cartagena to Cadiz. Insofar as 16th-century Spain was rich and England was poor, this approach may have a modicum of justification but not Thomson's debonair dismissal of the more vicious and mercenary aspects of Drake's around-the-world piracy (including his key role in inaugurating the English slave trade). Nor does Thomson probe the mercantile economics behind the Anglo-Spanish rivalries or the politics of the Privy Council and the equivocal support it gave the terrible El Draque. Even at the Armada (not so much an English victory as a Spanish defeat) Drake is treated as the instrument of benign Protestant and English-speaking Providence. And Thomson credulously incorporates the more storied feats -- such as the alleged landing in California -- into this glib, garrulous narrative.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1972
Publisher: Morrow