No Bed for Bacon
This is one of the most amusing books I have read. It is the book from which the plot of the film Shakespeare In Love was taken. It is witty, atmospheric, accurate and full of the bawdy hilarious one-liners which the Elizabethans, themselves, would have adored.
The book actually has three plots - two sub-plots, Shakespeare's love affair with Lady Viola and Francis Bacon's determination to acquire a bed, which the Queen actually slept in. The main plot is the determination of the Queen, Howard, Drake Hawkins and other assorted Elizabethan seamen to celebrate the defeat of the Armada. This is where the book is of interest to Drakeologists. The account of the defeat of the Armada is accurate and extremely well done. The account is given by Drake, Howard and Hawkins. The authors have got the essence of all three characters.
There are other genuinely amusing scenes. One of which is Drake's description to Raleigh of the best way of getting ships, money and equipment for a voyage. "...doing that you will only get a rowing boat. Ask for a lot more than you want, then the Queen will negotiate. She will think she's got what she always wants - a cheap bargain - and you are more likely to get what you need." Raleigh's potato party - "If you want fireworks, then put Francis by the Spanish Ambassador." Other examples include: Richard Burbage's comments on Birmingham's drains; Drake hijacking a performing bear and Howard and Hawkins getting drunk.
This book was never intended to be accurate nor academic: rather fun. If the reader wants a good assessment of Drake, a well-written account of the Armada and a few hours of entertainment, then this book is available from the country library service networks and from all good book shops.