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Captain John Smith, Adventurer (Paperback)

Piracy, Pocahontas and Jamestown

Explorers & Adventurers P&S History Biographies

By R. E. Pritchard
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781399001533
Published: 30th July 2021

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Captain John Smith is best remembered for his association with Pocahontas, but this was only a small part of an extraordinary life filled with danger and adventure. As a soldier, he fought the Turks in Eastern Europe, where he beheaded three Turkish adversaries in duels. He was sold into slavery, then murdered his master to escape. He sailed under a pirate flag, was shipwrecked and marched to the gallows to be hanged, only to be reprieved at the eleventh hour. All this before he was thirty years old.

He was one of the founders of the English settlement at Jamestown, where he faced considerable danger from the natives as well as from within the faction-ridden settlement itself. In fact, were it not for Smith’s leadership, the Jamestown colony would surely have failed. Yet Smith was a far more ambitious explorer and soldier of fortune than these tales suggest. This swashbuckling Elizabethan adventurer was resourceful, intelligent and outspoken, with a vision of what America could become. In this riveting book, R.E. Pritchard tells the rip-roaring story of a remarkable man who refused to give in.

I am not an expert on Smith or on early American History, but that is not necessary to enjoy this book. It is a good book for people interested in learning more about Smith and the early history of Jamestown, for amateur historians, and for those keen on researching the period (like writers of historical fiction) and obtaining good background information without having to read all the original accounts. I gained a good insight into the early years of Jamestown, and I think I got to know Smith much better than before. A no-frills account of a fascinating man and his historical period. Highly recommended.

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Author Translator

This book descrtibes the lilfe of the extraordinary adventurer, John Smith, whose Indian bride Pocohontas is commemorated in the church in the North Norfolk village of Burnham Market, close to whereb I live. Fascinating, larger than life, even. You couldn't make it up!

Books Monthly

About R. E. Pritchard

Born in India, R.E. Pritchard read English at Balliol College, Oxford, before becoming a lecturer at Keele University. He has published widely on a range of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century subjects, from Shakespeare’s England to the adventurer Captain John Smith, the witty poet Rochester and the court of Charles II. He lives in West Oxfordshire.

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