Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account
Description

Francis Drake on the Island of California!

Scarce image of the reception of Sir Francis Drake by the Indians of the "Island of California" in 1577.

The image appeared in Happel's Thesaurus Exoticorum, pubished in Hamburg in 1688.

The image is a curious conflation of myth and fact, as the concept of the "Island of California" did not exist in Drake's lifetime, but was the prevailing geographical conception of California in 1688, when Happel's book was published, and, of course, its unlikely that Drake's reception was remotely similar to Happel's image.

Eberhard Werner Happel Biography

Eberhard Werner Happel (1647–1690) was a German author of scientific and historical works. The son of a reformist Lutheran minister, he studied law, mathematics, and natural sciences in Marburg, Germany, from the 1660s to 1680s, though due to financial issues he never finished his formal education. He also tutored aristocratic families in Hessen and Hamburg during this time. Around 1680 he devoted himself to writing, publishing several works of historical fiction. He also published several historical and scientific almanacs, the most famous of which was Historia Moderna Europae, which covered recent European political history and included detailed maps and engravings. His most famous scientific work was Gröste Denkwürdigkeiten der Welt: Oder, So genannte “relationes curiosae”, which contained one of the most important early discussions of oceanographic phenomena. In later years Happel continued to be a successful and widely read author. He died in Hamburg at age 42, survived by his wife, Margarita, and four children.