Mastodon The Writing Desk: Book Launch: Drake - Tudor Corsair (Elizabethan Series Book 1)

7 August 2020

Book Launch: Drake - Tudor Corsair (Elizabethan Series Book 1)

1564: Devon sailor Francis Drake sets out on a journey of adventure. He learns of routes used to transport Spanish silver and gold, and risks his life in an audacious plan to steal a fortune.

I’ve been planning an Elizabethan series for some time, as my aim is to tell the stories of the Tudors from Owen Tudor’s first meeting with Queen Catherine of Valois through to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

I decided to show the fascinating world of the Elizabethan court through the eyes of the queen’s favourite courtiers, starting with Francis Drake. I soon discovered almost everything I thought I knew about Drake was wrong, and have enjoyed tracking down primary sources to uncover his true story.

Soon after I'd sent the draft manuscript to my editor the Black Lives Matter campaign drew fresh attention to the history of the slave trade, and there was even a campaign to removes Drake’s statue from Plymouth.
Although Drake’s first voyage with John Hawkins was a slaving voyage, I’m hoping my book will help readers understand that he had a very modern view of the slave trade. 

Once he had his own fleet, Drake began freeing any slaves he found, and worked with the Cimarrons, escaped former slaves who lived together as outlaws, to attack the Spanish in Panama. Drake's friend, a former slave named Diego, saved his life more than once.
Francis Drake was a self-made man, who took great risks to make his fortune. He was looked down on by the nobility as a commoner, even after he was knighted, yet his story is one of the great adventures of Tudor history.

Tony Riches 

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