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Author:  Luis Gorrochategui Santos
ISBN: 9781350019416
Format: PB
Extent: 448 pp
Price: £26.99
Publication: February 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

During the year between July 1588, when the Spanish Armada set sail from Spain and July 1589, when the survivors of the English counterpart of this fleet, the little-known English Armada, reached port in England, two of history’s worst naval catastrophes took place. A great deal of attention has been dedicated to the former and precious little to the latter. This book presents a full-scale account of an event which has been neglected for more than four centuries.

It reconstructs the military operations day by day for the first time, taking apart the established notion that, with the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England achieved maritime supremacy and the decay of Spain began. This book clearly and in a rigorously documented fashion shows how the defeat of the English Armada counterbalanced that of the Spanish, frustrating England’s intention of seizing Philip II’s American empire and changing the tide of the war.

A profound and detailed study of enormous merit and scope about an historic event that has given rise to much controversy. As the author states in his illuminating epilogue, the success of the English expedition would have made it possible for the English and the Dutch to gain access to the Spanish crown’s territories in the Americas, but its failure enabled Spain to retain them. That is why it was an event of such importance. This engaging and easy-to-read work describes very compellingly a decisive episode of the period.  José Cervera Pery, Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of History, Spain