1588: the Spanish Armada Still Loses

About this Episode

Join world-renowned historian Geoffrey Parker for a definitive history of the Spanish Armada. In July 1588 the Spanish Armada sailed from Corunna to conquer England. Three weeks later an English fireship attack in the Channel—and then a fierce naval battle—foiled the planned invasion. Many myths still surround these events. The genius of Sir Francis Drake is exalted, while Spain’s efforts are belittled. But what really happened during that fateful encounter? In his recent book, Armada, (co-authored with Colin Martin), Parker draws on archives from around the world and deploys vital new evidence from Armada shipwrecks off the coasts of Ireland and Scotland. In a gripping account, he will provide a fresh understanding of how the rival fleets came into being; how they looked, sounded, and smelled; and what happened when they finally clashed. Looking beyond the events of 1588 to the complex politics which made war between England and Spain inevitable, and at the political and dynastic aftermath, Armada deconstructs the many legends to reveal why, ultimately, the bold Spanish mission failed.

Geoffrey Parker is a Distinguished University Professor and Andreas Dorpalen Professor of European History at the Ohio State University.

Nicholas Breyfogle, Moderator, is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching at Ohio State University.

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Geoffrey Parker , "1588: the Spanish Armada Still Loses" , Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective

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