He fought and 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. And all this happened before he was thirty years old. This is Captain John Smith’s life.
Everyone knows the story of Pocahontas, and how in 1607 she saved John Smith. And 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 – and a far more ambitious self-promoter, too. Now, in this first new major biography of Smith in decades, award-winning BBC filmmaker and author Peter Firstbrook traces the adventurer’s astonishing exploits across three continents, testing Smith’s own writings against the historical and geographical reality on the ground.
With A Man Most Driven, Firstbrook delivers a riveting, enlightening dissection of this myth-making man, England’s arrival on the world stage, and the creation of America.