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History Great Britain

Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake

by (author) Samuel Bawlf

Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Feb 2004
Great Britain, Adventurers & Explorers, Expeditions & Discoveries
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2004
    List Price

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On September 26, 1580, Francis Drake returned triumphantly to England after an epic three-year voyage, his ship, the Golden Hinde carrying a huge haul of plunder. Long given up for lost, he had passed through the dreaded Strait of Magellan to raid Spanish treasure galleons on the coast of Peru, and then had become the first captain to sail completely around the globe. But there was much more to the expedition than he was allowed to tell.


Queen Elizabeth I immediately imposed a shroud of secrecy around Drake's travels, creating a mystery that has endured for 400 years. Piecing together the evidence in contemporary accounts and maps, author Samuel Bawlf retraces Drake's remarkable voyage and uncovers compelling proof of an astonishing feat of exploration. With only crude navigational instruments to guide him through vast, uncharted oceans, Drake covered more than 40,000 miles, sailing all the way to Alaska on a secret mission to discover the Pacific outlet of the fabled Northwest Passage. Then, probing the labyrinthine coast, he landed among the Indians to proclaim England's first colony -- New England -- on Canada's western shores. Part swashbuckling adventure, part fascinating detective story, The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake completely rewrites the history of exploration in North America and brings to life the greatest navigator in history.

About the author

Samuel Bawlf is a geographer and former minister in the government of British Columbia responsible for the province’s historic and archaeological sites and its coastal ferry service. He has sailed the Pacific coast from southern Alaska to San Francisco.

Samuel Bawlf's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A fresh and compelling account of Elizabethan intrigue, the first English attempts to find the Northwest passage to the riches of the Orient, and the story of a seafaring rogue, adventurer, pirate and explorer, this is a bold departure from any other account of Francis Drake and his fabled voyage around the world -- a voyage that is of great interest to Canadians."

James Delgado, author of "Across the Top of the World"