A notable English scholar and historian, Rowse has reached an appreciative American public with his The Early Churchills and The Churchills. Now he returns to the field of his earlier work on the Elizabethan age with a distinctly new approach to the period of colonization of North America. There is some indication that this material is based on a series of lectures; it has a more chatty, person to person style than his other books, and concurrently less flow of lively recreation of background and personalities. Surprisingly, there is an amazing amount of new material- of figures beyond the accepted roster of these adventurous Englishmen (Ralegh -- his spelling, Drake, Frobisher, Hakluyt, Hawkins, etc.) with others less well known (Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the Gilberts, and the almost unknown group responsible for the maritime province explorations). It is immensely valuable in the tracing of Elizabethan concepts and principles beyond her reign still dominant in the thinking, the writing, the performances related to America. This comes out particularly in the section devoted to what we feel we know best- Pilgrims and Puritans. This book lacks the zest and flair of the Churchill saga, but is rewarding to the student of the period.