8vo (215 x 140 mm), pp. xii, 209, with 12 full-page illustrations (one folding); title printed in red and black; blue cloth, pictorial dust-jacket.
Pocahontas – meaning ‘Little Wanton’ or playful one – is famous for something she may or may not have done four hundred years ago: rescue the English colonist John Smith from execution by her father, Powhatan, the Indian paramount chief of the Virginia area. Pocahontas, Little Wanton investigates the legendary rescue and separates the known facts of her life and death in England from the myths about her. The book then follows the posthumous history of her story, as it is told and retold over the centuries by historians, dramatists, poets, novelists and film-makers who formed her into an American national icon, repeatedly rescuing the colonial Englishman from the indigenous Indian. Pocahontas, Little Wanton is the first book to combine an account of her brief life with the history of her long, ambiguous afterlife, as an American Indian heroine.
Neil Rennie is a Reader in English at University College London. He has written Far-fetched facts: the literature of travel and the idea of the South Seas (1995) and edited R. L. Stevenson’s In the South Seas. He is currently working on a history of real and imaginary pirates.
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