London: Hakluyt Society, 1981. Cloth. Second Series, Vol. 148, first edition, octavo 22.2 x 14.2 cm, hard cover, xiv, 358 pages, 15 plates some folding, 3 maps, one frontisp., another previously unpublished. Preface, Plates and Maps, Abbreviations, Introduction, Documents (11), Appendixes (4), Bibliography, Index. Gilt lettering on spine & gilt pictorial sailing ship on front cover, dust jacket. Fine / fine. Item #552
Drake’s 1585-86 expedition to the West Indies was significant in the history of Anglo-Spanish relations. His raids on Spanish towns on both sides of the Atlantic were aimed not only to gather treasure but to bring a military challenge to the empire of Philip II. The voyage was linked also with the plantation projects of Raleigh, and ended with Drake bringing home the discouraged settlers of the first Virginia colony. Although not a financial success, the expedition attracted wide attention in England and on the continent and was a prelude to the events of 1588.
For more than three centuries after the voyage the main source of information about it was the lively and propagandistic narrative published in 1588 and 1589. In Dr Mary Keller’s Hakluyt edition this account, attributed to Captain Walter Bigges, has been critically edited in the light of evidence now available from English and Spanish sources. The present volume also includes documents relating to ships and personnel, financial accounts, the journal of the vice-admiral’s ship, fragmentary journals and an important newsletter.
Dr Keeler’s Introduction discusses Drake’s expedition in the context of Elizabethan policies in the pre-Armada years. She points out new evidence on Drake’s administrative practices, and on his negotiations with Spanish officials.