POCAHONTAS: The True Story of a Powhatan Princess by Catherine Iannone

POCAHONTAS: The True Story of a Powhatan Princess

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A useful counter to the wildly romanticized Disney animated movie, this straightforward account of what is known of Pocahontas's life is also very different from Jean Fritz's portrait of a survivor of culture shock, The Double Life of Pocahontas (1991). An entry in the Junior Native Americans of Achievement series (part of Junior World Biographies), this focuses on the historical personage and her impact on the relationship between the Powhatans and English colonists. Iannone presents the points of view held by both sides and includes different theories about the meaning of specific incidents, e.g., the legendary saving of John Smith. First mentioned by Smith years later, after Pocahontas had become a popular figure, it may have been invented as a way to link his life to hers, or to demonstrate that she was the only ""decent"" Indian. Iannone points out that if the account is true, it may have been part of a ritual unknown to Smith, related to his adoption into the Powhatan tribe. The use of the word king rather than ruler for Powhatan follows contemporary usage and makes his importance clear. An array of good maps and contemporary black-and-white prints are included.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Chelsea House