The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake

The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake


Written by: Samuel Bawlf

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142004593
  • 416 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


When Sir Francis Drake returned to England in 1580, many questions concerning his momentous voyage were left unanswered—his journals were impounded and his men were forbidden, on pain of death, to divulge where they had been. Drawing on newly uncovered evidence, geographer and maritime historian Samuel Bawlf masterfully reconstructs Francis Drake’s historic round-the-world expedition, exploring the drama surrounding the voyage and offering intriguing insights into life at sea in the sixteenth century. But it is Bawlf’s assertion of Drake’s whereabouts in the summer of 1579 that gives the book even greater originality: from an intensive study of maps of the period, Bawlf shows with certainty that Drake sailed all the way to Alaska—much farther than anyone has heretofore imagined—thereby rewriting the history of exploration in North America.

Table of Contents

The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake: 1577-1580Acknowledgments
Note to the Reader

Part One: The Quest for Riches
1. San Juan d’Ulúa
2. Letters of Marque
3. Drake’s Private War
4. A Passage to Cathay
5. The South Sea Project

Part Two: Round About the Whole Globe of the Earth
6. The Preparations
7. A Troubled Beginning
8. The Coast of Barbary
9. Land of Giants
10. Island of Blood
11. Into the South Sea
12. Chile
13. Peru
14. New Spain
15. News from the South Sea
16. The Moluccas
17. Homeward

Part Three: Celebrity amid Secrecy
18. “A Very Short Way”
19. “Islands of Good Land”
20. “Seen and Corrected by Sir Drake”
21. “That Posterity Be Not Deprived”
22. A Forgotten Secret

Part Four: The Northern Voyage, April to September 1579
A Record of Discovery
23. Drake’s Strait of Anian
24. Nova Albion
25. Point of Position
26. A Sorrowful Farewell
Postscript: An Old Sailor’s Yarn

Art Credits