WE HAVE MOVED and are no longer in our alley location. You can now find us at

1620 Orrington Ave

Evanston, IL 60201

Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America (Paperback)

Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America By Mr. Benjamin Woolley Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


“Brilliantly framed . . . fascinating . . . a well-told story of discovery, conquest, business, and politics.” — Kirkus Reviews

Four centuries ago, and 14 years before the Mayflower, a group of men—led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy—left London aboard a fleet of three ships. Despite their shortcomings, and against the odds, they built Jamestown, a ramshackle outpost that laid the foundations of the British Empire and the United States of America.

Drawing on new discoveries, neglected sources, and manuscript collections scattered across the world, Savage Kingdom challenges the textbook image of Jamestown as a mere money-making venture. It reveals a reckless, daring enterprise led by outcasts of the Old World who found themselves interlopers in a new one. An intimate story in an epic setting, it shows how the land of Pocahontas came to be drawn into a new global order.

About the Author

Benjamin Woolley is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He is the author of the best-selling The Queen's Conjuror: The Life and Magic of Dr. John Dee and Heal Thyself: Nicholas Culpeper and the Civil War for the Heart of Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England. His first book, Virtual Worlds, was short-listed for the Rhône-Poulenc Prize and has been translated into eight languages. His second work, The Bride of Science, examined the life of Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter. He has written and presented documentaries for the BBC on subjects ranging from the fight for liberty during the English Civil War to the end of the Space Age. He has won the Arts Journalist of the Year Award and an Emmy for his commentary for Discovery's Three Minutes to Impact. He lives in London.

Praise For…

“An engrossing bit of elegant social history.” — Los Angeles Times

“A lucid narrative.” — Financial Times

“Comprehensive account of the first permanent English colony in North America.... A well-told story of discovery, conquest, business and politics.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This highly readable account of the founding of Jamestown moves from the English throne to the daily struggles of the colony’s first settlers and the experience of Virginia’s Indians as their relations with colonists became increasingly strained….Woolley blends nuanced analysis with fast-paced narrative.” — Publishers Weekly

“To mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, historian and journalist Benjamin Woolley has constructed a far-ranging account of the political machinations and human suffering that went into creating and preserving this tormented English outpost.” — BookPage

“[H]ighly readable . . . Woolley blends nuanced analysis with fast-paced narrative.” — Publishers Weekly

A swashbuckling saga of political maneuvering, storms at sea, hostile indigenes, violence and starvation....his book is sprightly and vivid. — Los Angeles Times

Benjamin Woolley presents an engaging, well-researched take on the basics....Woolley’s prose bounces along, equally cheerful in the face of a comprehensive flaying and the founding of what became Washington, D.C. — Entertainment Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060090579
ISBN-10: 006009057X
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: April 8th, 2008
Pages: 512
Language: English