Robert Dudley

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An English explorer and cartographer, and the illegitimate son of one of Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite courtiers. Dudley received the education and privileges of a Tudor nobleman and at the age of 21, led an expedition to the Orinoco River and Guiana. Forced to flee England due to political rivalry, he ended up in Florence at the court of Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany. Dudley served the Medici family for the rest of his life as a civil and military engineer, naval architect and geographer, among other roles. His key work was the ‘Arcano del Mare’, or ‘The Secrets of the Ocean’ . This astonishing set of books includes how to navigate, how to record maps on different scales, how to build and sale a navy, and sail. It also contains a beautiful sea atlas.

Full body black and white portrait of Robert Dudley, a man with dark short hair and is well dressed with a sword hanging from his left hip.