Edition: 2023
Pages: 272
Series: IR/L
ISBN: 9788858150948

Francis Drake. The corsair who challenged an empire

David Salomoni


Critica (World Spanish)



Sir Francis Drake was an English explorer and privateer best known for his circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition between 1577 and 1579. The book tells his epic story, from the initial raids in the Caribbean Sea to the first major attack on the Spanish empire in America. The perspecti¬ve, however, is new and original. In fact, this book stems from the discovery in the Lisbon archives of an unknown document on Francis Drake. It is the testimony given in 1583 by the Portuguese pilot Nuno Da Silva, whom Drake had kidnapped in the Cape Verde archipelago in 1578 in order to be told the route of the passage through the Strait of Magellan. Da Silva was later released in Mexico and, after various misadventures, including a conviction for heresy, he was brought before the Spanish king, Philip II, where he gave this extraordinary account of his journey with Francis Drake. Nuno da Silva received the king’s forgiveness, but no one knows what happened to him after his confession. Some evidence suggests that he reunited with Drake to launch new attacks on the Spanish in the South Seas, but this remains a fascinating mystery...
An extraordinary story that gives also a close reading of the Europeans’ abuse of the pre-Columbian and African popula¬tions, the drama of cultural deprivation and slavery. The book is also sensitive to the role of female power in the early modern age, emphasising the importance of Queen Elizabeth I in the events narrated.

The author

David Salomoni

David Salomoni is a researcher in History of Science and Education at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Lisbon, as part of the ERC project Rutter: Making the Earth Global. His latest book published by Laterza is Magellano. Il primo viaggio intorno al mondo (2021).

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