All the Queen's Men
This is a witty and perceptive assessment of the key maritime, political, religious and scholastic figures who served Elizabeth. However since Brimacombe is a west country man and an ex-Plymouth resident, the sailor, explorers and fighting men take centre stage, with Drake largely figuring as the leading man. Drake's Plymouth statue serves to illustrate the front cover.
Brimacombe gives potted biographies of his key figures. His main aim is to assess their services to the crown and to analyse their characters. Brimacombe had already written a general background history book called The Elizabethans. The author knows his subject, since he has been influenced by the works of A. L. Rouse. His prose is eminently readable. Brimacombe obviously likes Drake. Notwithstanding his assessments of Drake's services to Elizabethan England and his character are fair and objective. A good mixture of primary and secondary sources have been used.
The book is obviously directed at the general reader. I enjoyed this title and thoroughly recommend it. My more able GCSE students utilised it for their coursework and they gave it the ultimate accolade - "cool". The book is currently available in hardback and paperback.