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May 11, 2007

Captain John Smith comes alive in new book edited by CW's Jim Horn

Learn more about one of history’s leading figures in his own words in the book, “Captain John Smith: Writings and Other Narratives of Roanoke, Jamestown, and the First English Settlement of America.” The volume has been published by The Library of America and edited by James Horn, Colonial Williamsburg vice president of research and Abby and George O’Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library.

Horn selected writings from Smith and his contemporaries related to the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. “A True Relation” describes the hardships of the first year for the colonists. “The Proceedings” and “The Generall Historie” continue with the colonists’ struggle to survive and prosper. “The True Travels” is Smith’s autobiography and recalls his adventure as a soldier in Eastern Europe and his amazing escape from Turkish slavery. “Advertisements for the Unexperienced Planters” is a critical examination of the successes and failures of the English colonial enterprise.

In addition, other narratives include accounts of the Lost Colony of Roanoke and a shipwreck off Bermuda. The book contains 29 pages of illustrations, including full-color watercolors by John White.

The book can be purchased at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers®, which is located at Colonial Williamsburg’s Visitor Center, and The Museum Gift Shop for $45.

A nonprofit publisher, The Library of America was founded in 1979 to help preserve the nation's cultural heritage by publishing America's best and most significant writing in durable and authoritative editions. In the years since The Library of America's inception it has come to be recognized by both scholars and the general public as the national edition of our country's literature. The series has won the National Book Critics Circle special award for "distinguished contributions to the enhancement of American literary and critical standards." It has also received the "Ambassador of Honor" title from the English-Speaking Union and the Carey-Thomas Award for Creative Publishing.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

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