Big Chief Elizabeth

Big Chief Elizabeth : How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World

3.93 (688 ratings by Goodreads)
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In April 1586, Queen Elizabeth I acquired a new and exotic title. A tribe of North American Indians had made her their weroanza - 'big chief'.The news was received with great joy, both by the Queen and her favourite, Sir Walter Ralegh. His first American expedition had brought back a captive, Manteo, whose tattooed face had enthralled Elizabethan London. Now Manteo was returned to his homeland as Lord and Governor. Ralegh's gamble would result in the first English settlement in the New World, but it would also lead to a riddle whose solution lay hidden in the forests of Virginia.A tale of heroism and mystery, BIG CHIEF ELIZABETH is illuminated by first-hand accounts to reveal a remarkable and long-forgotten story.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 30mm | 320g
  • Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Hodder Murray
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • B/W maps and illustrations throughout
  • 0340748826
  • 9780340748824
  • 35,130

Review quote

A wonderfully colourful story told with pace and verve * Sunday Telegraph * Splendid stuff ... fascinatingly told ... An excellent book * Time Out * Milton has a terrific eye for the kind of detail that can bring the past vividly to life off the page * The Spectator * 'Milton knits together the most vivid anecdotes and descriptions from a very colourful literature of exploration and colonization, and anyone wanting easy access to them has it here'. * The Times Literary Supplement * Milton ... draws a vivid picture of the terrible hardships the settlers endured * The Times * Grippingly told true adventure story * Daily Mail * Milton is a great storyteller ... he sets about filling in the historical gaps with relish, using his considerable imagination to conjure mood from dry parchment * Sunday Express * 'The story of the first Virginia colonies, now told in pacy style in Big Chief Elizabeth, is stirring and fitfully tragic...This is a marvellous story well retold' Sunday Times 'It's almost impossible to summarise Milton's book, from which marvellous, vivid stories spill out like swagsack booty. ... Milton is a very contemporary historian' Guardian Like Giles Milton's previous book, ... Big Chief Elizabeth is a cracking read, a successful attempt at popular history * Evening Standard *
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About Giles Milton

Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram and Russian Roulette. He has also written three novels and three children's books. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in south London. Find out more about Giles and his books on his website,, and Wikipedia page,, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Review Text

Like Giles Milton's previous book, ... Big Chief Elizabeth is a cracking read, a successful attempt at popular history Evening Standard
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Rating details

688 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 28% (194)
4 42% (291)
3 25% (171)
2 4% (29)
1 0% (3)
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