I’m awaiting the final pages for Tidewater Bride, a last review/reading before the book goes to print. My last visit to Jamestown was solo on an overcast spring day. Solo research trips are one of the most wonderful things on earth! I took these pictures, including the statue of Pocahontas, a historical heroine of mine since childhood. But who was she really?

In this twelfth novel, I’ve sifted through history and saved what seems to be the most credible accounts about her. Not the things we were taught in school or saw in movies. Her name – Pocahontas – is even in doubt, as is the story of her saving Captain John Smith from death at the hands of her own people.

What we do know is that she was the daughter of a powerful chief. She turned cartwheels when she visited James Towne’s fort as a child. Later, she married John Rolfe, plantation owner and foremost tobacco cultivator in Virginia during the 17th-century. Pocahontas had a son, Thomas. She died while in England and is buried at Gravesend, a melancholy name for her resting place. Other than these fragile facts, we know very little.

And it’s there that inspiration ignites and those shadows began to take on substance. Coupled with her own people’s history about her which rings true on repeated readings, I found the real Pocahontas to be far more fascinating and complex {and tragic} than I’d first believed.

Which is why I love writing historical fiction that takes on history and brings hope.

 

 

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