Historical Notes: Sir Francis Who?

Sir Francis Who?

Four hundred years have passed since England defeated the Spanish Armada, thereby paving the way for its rise as a world power. This year Britons are saluting the victory with pageants, bonfires and banquets. Trouble is, the occasion has also spawned scholarly works and an exhibit at the National Maritime Museum that debunk myths about the English victory. Among them: that the genius of Sir Francis Drake was almost solely responsible for Spain's defeat. These accounts argue that stormy weather contributed powerfully to the armada's defeat.

This has hardly amused British patriots. Lectured the Times of London: "National anniversary festivities should...

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