The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir

By E. W. Bovill | Go to book overview

Preface

T HE importance of the crushing defeat of the Portuguese by the Moors in 1578 at El-Ksar el-Kebir -- usually called the battle of Alcazar -- has been recognised by all students of the period. Yet very few, if any, attempts have been made to compile from contemporary narratives a full description of the battle and the extraordinary circumstances which accompanied it. That no such attempt has ever been made in the English language is surprising because the ties between Elizabethan England and Morocco were very close. In the following pages, therefore, I have tried to present English readers with a battle-picture they have hitherto lacked.

The sources from which I have obtained my material are recorded in the bibliography and footnotes. But special acknowledgment is due to Les Sources Inëdites de l' Histoire du Maroc, so ably edited by Henry de Castries, which alone has made possible the writing of this book.

The Introduction, in which the political background of the battle is so happily presented, is the work of the Rev. R. Trevor Davies, Lecturer in the History of Spain in the University of Oxford. It is a valuable contribution for which I am very grateful.

E. W. BOVILL

Little Laver Hall, Harlow, June, 1952

-vii-

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The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chapter I - The Fear of the Moor 1
  • Chapter 2 - Don Sebastian 7
  • Chapter 3 - Mulai Mohammed 19
  • Chapter 4 - The Kingdom of Fez 25
  • Chapter 5 - Mulai Abd El-Malek 36
  • Chapter 6 - Queen Elizabeth's Secret 43
  • Chapter 7 - The Meetinq at Guadalupe 53
  • Chapter 8 - Ways and Means 62
  • Chapter 9 - Lisbon 74
  • Chapter 10 - Africa Invaded 89
  • Chapter 11 - The Road to El-Ksar 100
  • Chapter 12 - On the Plain of El-Ksar 114
  • Chapter 13 - The Battle 127
  • Chapter 14 - Philip I of Portugal 141
  • Chapter 15 - Mulai Ahmed El-Mansur 158
  • Chapter 16 - The Moors Re-Arm 169
  • Chapter 17 - El-Mansur and Elizabeth 175
  • Note on the Contemporary Accounts of The Battle of Alcazar 187
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 192
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