The defeat of the Spanish Armada did not put an end to Spanish sea power, nor to Spain's ambitions in northern Europe. By the mid-1590s Spain had recovered from the disaster of 1588, and the renewed naval wars together with the outbreak of rebellion in Ireland from the principal themes of this book. R B Wernham sets out to examine these major events of the last years of the Queen Elizabeth's reign and to assess their impact on English policy. Professor Wernham shows how much of the impetus in foreign policy derived from the Earl of Essex, whose personal ambition and practical incompetence brought frustration and danger, and ultimately led him through rebellion to the Scaffold. It was left to Mountjoy in Ireland, to Leveson and a new generation of sea commanders, and above all to Robert Cecil, to bring war and rebellion to a reasonably satisfactory conclusion. The Return of the Armadas is a superbly integrated and lucidly written study in grand strategy by a leading historian of Elizabethan affairs.