fiction build around a figure known to every schoolchild, captain John Smith of the Jamestown experiment. Marshall has made him a picturesque adventurer in the best tradition, and a full half of his story covers the years before the Virginia episode and is a lusty, full bodied tale of a professional mercenary whose eagerness for adventure and far places took him into the Spanish Wars, into the Mediterranean struggles with the infidels, into a Turkish harem. Finally he returned to England where the love of his life was consummated briefly and passionately. At her death he went to Virginia to continue a stormy career in a group torn by jealousy, ambition, inner friction, antagonisms within and without. Smith, through the chance of winning the friendship of Pocahontas, and the reluctant confidence of the wily Powhatan, kept the colony from extinction. The love story is beautifully handled, its dramatic finale brings the story to an end, with only a postscript by the ""nephew"" who purports to be releasing his uncle's papers. Good reading, for all who like dramatic, fast-paced, panoramic historical fiction. Strong meat for conservatives.