Paul Lay

English Bullies, Spanish Bullion

Elizabeth’s Sea Dogs: How the English became the Scourge of the Seas

By

Conway 384pp £25 order from our bookshop

In April 1591, six royal ships under the command of Lord Thomas Howard left Plymouth to intercept the annual Spanish flota, laden with New World treasure, off the Azores. Unfortunately for Howard, his men became racked with illness, were forced to put ashore on the islands and then fled their Spanish pursuers, returning to England. One of the ships, Revenge, the former flagship of Sir Francis Drake, did otherwise. It was under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, who ‘went berserk’, ‘valuing the world as nothing’, as the Spanish squadron commander Martín de Bertendona put it. Fourteen hours of battle followed as Revenge, heavily outnumbered, its position hopeless, sank two and wrecked three Spanish ships. Such actions contributed to a ‘can’t be beat’ mentality that persisted among the English for centuries. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,