The Queen's Pirate - Francis Drake
I try to review many books for the
Broadside readers which are in print within the UK. This book is available although it seems you have to order it. This title is part of the Usborne Young Reading Series. The author has only used one source - Harry Kelsey's boring, badly-written and frequently inaccurate biography. Courtauld's book is a junior version and is very inaccurate. The author took little notice of Michael Turner's corrections, who was employed as history consultant. The information is wrong about Drake's boyhood; the aftermath of San Juan de Ulua and Drake's attack on Nombre de Dios. The West Indies and Cádiz expeditions are not mentioned, which limits Drake's achievements. Drake's character is insufficiently fleshed out. Drake is not presented as a real person - he is Kelsey's Drake and not the man in the primary sources.
The literary style is good. The book is beautifully illustrated although Drake and Hawkins wear the same brown and blue doublets respectively in every colour illustration. Despite Michael's advice, the palm trees remain at San Julián. The book is not worth £4.99 - sorry Michael.