Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Elizabethan Sea Dogs by William Wood

book cover

Elizabethan Sea Dogs
by William Wood

Hardback: 260 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press
Released: 1918

Source: Bought at library book sale.

Book Description, my take:
Written in 1918 and a part of the Yale Chronicles of America series, this book takes a look at the development of England's navy from King Henry VIII to the death of Queen Elizabeth, notable seamen during this time, and England's attempts to colonize North America up until 1618.

Elizabethan Sea Dogs is a history of how England's fleet went from insignificant to ruling the seas and their activities in the New World from King Henry VIII's reign to the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign. The book contained some quotes from various sea journals of the explorers and quotes from some sea songs. Overall, the book was easy to read and fairly interesting. I'd recommend the recent re-release of this "classic" to those who enjoy reading about the English navy.

Chapter 1 talked about the voyages of exploration of John Cabot and his family. Chapter 2 talked about how King Henry VIII strengthened England's naval power. Chapter 3 talked about William Hawkins (1530) and the life of a sailor at that time. Chapter 4 talked about what life was like under Queen Elizabeth (mainly the political, economic, and business practices). Chapter 5 talked about John Hawkins three voyages from 1562-1567.

Chapter 6 talked about Francis Drake's treasure hunt (1564-1573). Chapter 7 talked about Francis Drake's sailing completely around the world (1577-1581). Chapter 8 talked about Francis Drake's sailing to New Spain to damage and plunder Spain's towns there (1582-1587). Chapter 9 talked about Francis Drake, etc., against the Spanish Armada (1588). Chapter 10 talked about Francis Drake's Lisbon Expedition (1589) and Richard Grenville's famous "the one and the fifty-three" battle (1591).

Chapter 11 talked about Sir Walter Raleigh and England's various attempts to colonize North America (1577-1618; Sir Humprey Gilbert to James Smith). Chapter 12 talked about Drake's last voyage and death (1589-1596). The Appendix explained more about the development of the various types of ships used during this time period and how the navy had worked before then.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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