Hero or pirate? This is the question not only history but his contemporaries asked of Francis Drake. According to this text, the bold Englishman, servant to Queen Elizabeth, was every inch the patriot. Shrewd, fearless, and enterprising, the young man, who, before reaching the age of seventeen, was captain of his own ship, recognized the menace of the Spaniards to England and foresaw that England's destiny lay in securing their naval power. In his capacity of self-elected protector of England's rights against Spain, often the tactics that he used were unorthodox. Alone, he and the men of his ship raided Spanish vessels and harried the Spanish fleet in the Caribbean. But this he did in order to cut off supplies from Philip. The author, winner of the 1955 Newberry Award, stresses the fact that he refused to kill women, children or unarmed men. Sir Francis Drake's life was one of colorful achievement and this biography does much to convey the richness of event and atmosphere which was the portion of one of Elizabeth's most celebrated knights.