NEIL HANSON HAS a reputation for writing a rattling good yarn, and I have little doubt that this book about the Armada will be relished and widely read. Indeed. the passages about the Armada itself, its defeat and the pitiful experiences of its crews in returning home via the Scottish and Irish coasts are well done and taught me a lot I did not know.
But readers should be warned that the author's knowledge of the historical background is sometimes defective and his judgement of character woefully inept. Also, for a popular writer, he has a surprising way of missing obvious tricks. For instance, he begins his book with what reads like an eyewitness account