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Martin's Must Reads: 'In Search of a Kingdom'

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“Secretly dispatched by Queen Elizabeth to circumnavigate the globe and later called upon to save England from the Spanish Armada, Francis Drake was a hot-tempered, red-haired rouge who made his reputation by plundering and pillaging his way to the ends of the earth.”

I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Laurence Bergreen in his book In Search of a Kingdom: Francis Drake, Elizabeth I and the Perilous Birth of the British Empire leads the reader into a story of swashbuckling adventure, political intrigue, piracy, religious conflict, warfare and ultimately the transformation of the poor and isolated nation of England into the world power that was Great Britain.

Secretly commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to circumnavigate the globe, the first attempt since Magellan’s trip some 58 years earlier, the voyage was more than exploration. Francis Drake was sent to pillage, pirate and steal from the Spanish. At the time, Spain was the preeminent world power and was the ever present Catholic threat to the newly Protestant England. Drake’s success in this voyage enabled Elizabeth to consolidate her hold as sovereign of England, deal with economic issues at home, heal the religious strife in the land and equip the navy that would defend her nation from the Spanish Armada.

Elizabeth died eight years after Drake on March 24, 1603, at Richmond Palace. A year later, her chosen successor, James I, son of Mary, Queen of Scots, ascended to the throne. He became King of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and thus the first monarch of Great Britain.

Laurence Bergreen’s book In Search of a Kingdom tells the true story of the heroics of Francis Drake and the wisdom of Elizabeth I that laid the foundations that would impact world history for centuries.

Mark co-hosted "Martin's Must Reads" until October 2022. He passed away unexpectedly on October 21, 2022.
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