Reprisal Generation

Last Updated: Oct. 28, 2008

The Reprisal Generation (Nomad, born 1512–1540) spent childhood amid religious frenzy and a widespread erosion of social authority—and came of age in a cynical, post-Awakening era of cut-throat politics and roller-coaster markets. They built a gritty young-adult reputation as swaggering merchants, mercenaries, spies, and “sea-dog” privateers who pulled off stunning “reprisals” through luck and pluck. Entering midlife just as their Queen (a shrewd orphan herself) squared off with Imperial Spain, these daredevil adventurers knew how to “singe King Philip’s beard” while stealing his gold. Making simple appeals to national honor, they aged into worldly-wise elder stewards of English solidarity whose sacrifices made possible a glorious new era. (ENGLISH: Queen Elizabeth I, Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Thomas Gresham, William Cecil Burghley, Francis Walshingham; FOREIGN: Catherine de Medici, Michel de Montaigne)

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