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James Anthony Froude (1818–1894) was one of the foremost historians in Victorian England, famous for his controversial 1884 biography of Thomas Carlyle (also to be reissued in this series), and for many works on England during the Reformation period. In 1892 Froude was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford. This volume, first published posthumously in 1895, contains a series of lectures on the English navy in the sixteenth century which he gave at Oxford between 1893 and 1894. Informed by Froude's earlier research on the Reformation, the lectures focus on key leaders and events, as well as exploring the relationship between the growth of the English navy and the Reformation, and the role of Sir John Hawkins in exposing the Ridolfi plot to overthrow Elizabeth I. They provide many insights into the close connection between the court of Elizabeth I and the development of the navy.
James Anthony Froude was one of the foremost Victorian historians in England, though he was often controversial and opinionated, especially towards Catholicism. His biography of Carlyle in 1884, with his emphasis on Carlyle's weaknesses as well as his brilliance, caused lasting offence to many. He then began travelling in British colonies, which led to the publication of Oceana (1886) and The English in the West Indies (1888) which combined anecdotes and observations with Froude's opinions on the British Empire. The latter provoked many angry responses to his views on how the colonies should be governed. He favoured self-government, but feared that democracy would cause the British islands to go the same way as French Haiti, stating that black rule in Grenada would led to a rapid return to savagery. Apart from his political opinions, the book contains interesting and vivid descriptions of the islands and their inhabitants.