The defeat of the Spanish Armada was the defining international event of the Elizabethan age. in 1588 Spanish King Philip II, determined to reclaim England for the Catholic Church, launched a fleet of huge castle-crowned galleons that stretched for miles across the ocean. A battle-hardened Spanish army waited in Holland, ready to crush England’s barely trained conscripts, many armed only with scythes, stakes or longbows. All that stood between Spain and victory was the English navy. English ships, tactics, weapons, and crews proved superior and Philip’s “confident hope of a miracle’ to give him victory was not fulfilled. The author also depicts the terrible fate that befell the seamen of both sides. Illustrated. New York, N.Y. 2003 Alfred A. Knopf 1st American Ed., 489 Pgs., 6&1/4 x 9&1/2, HB. Was $ 35.00.