Commander of the Armada: The Seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia

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Commander of the Armada: The Seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia
The seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia is best known as the man who led to defeat the Spanish Armada of 1588. This book by Peter Pierson is the first complete biography in any language of this important figure. Based on previously inaccessible documents from the Medina Sidonia archives, it offers fascinating material on sixteenth-century Spain and new and exciting details about the armada campaign.
Pierson begins by describing the Duke's youth and his close ties to the court of Philip II. He discusses the Duke's lifelong involvement with the shipping that navigated the treasure route from Spain to the Indies, his significant role in Philip's successful quest for the Portuguese Crown, and his appointment as Captain General of the Ocean-Sea. Spain's war with England dominates the central chapters of the book. Pierson relates how Medina Sidonia embargoed ships and recruited men for the armada, the largest fleet yet concentrated in early modern Europe, and he analyzes Philip's choice of the Duke to command the armada. Pierson provides a radical reinterpretation of the armada campaign, and with the aid of ten superb maps and diagrams he reconstructs the positions of the two navies, the number and names of ships, and their movements from the fleet's departure for England to the surviving vessel's arrival home. Pierson continues with Medina Sidonia's life after the armada campaign and discusses his second appearance on the world stage, as the unsuccessful defender of Cádiz against a major Anglo-Dutch attack in 1596.
"This superb book is both the definitive biography of an important man and an indispensable source on the Armada campaign." -Geoffrey Parker, coauthor of The Spanish Armada
Publication Date: 
September 10, 1989