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eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherTwayne Publishers
File size3.7 Mb
Release date 01.06.1971
Pages count143
Book rating0.7 (0 votes)
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Captain John Smith (1580-1631), famed for saving the young Virginia colony and for his lucky rescue by Pocahontas, was the quintessential Great Elizabethan Adventurer. He traveled throughout the world, including the entire eastern coast of America, writing eloquently and at length about his experiences. With publication of A True Relation of such occurrences and accidents of noate as hath hapned in virginia since the first planting of that Collony (1608), Smith became author of the first American book in English, and his canon includes the well-known Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles, as well as the autobiographical ramble, Advertisements. Yet few scholars have approached the Captain's many books and pamphlets as literary achievements. In this welcome revision of his successful 1971 study, Everett Emerson does this expertly, showing Smith's canon to be thick with influences, embedded in a well-formed tradition and stylishly self-reflexive. Modernizing Smith's language for contemporary readers, Emerson illuminates his radically secular vision of the meaning of America (expressed at a time when most believed colonization was the work of God); his promotion of Virginia's cause; the objective descriptions of the native peoples and English colonists alike; his unique attempt to define a distinctively American identity; and especially his self-portrait as an individualist, soldier, and dreamer. Analyzing each of Smith's works, Emerson reveals the rich connections among the author's life, principles, and letters, and shows us how, more than any of his colleagues - from Sir Walter Raleigh to Richard Hakluyt - Smith successfully advanced the colonization and character of the "New" World. Occasioned by the 1986 publication of all Smith's texts in their authoritative editions, this updated study is especially timely.

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