'Marvellous, vivid stories spill out like swagsack booty.’ The Guardian.

IN APRIL, 1586, Queen Elizabeth I acquired a new and exotic title. A tribe of North American Indians had made her their 'Weroanza' - Big Chief. The news was received with great joy, both by the Queen and her favurite, Sir Walter Ralegh. His first expedition had brought back a captive, Manteo, whose tattooed face had enthralled Elizabethan London. Now Manteo was returned to his homeland as a feudal lord.
It was a strange story that was to have an even more extraordinary twist. Ralegh's gamble would result in the first English settlement in the New World, but it would also lead to a riddle whose solution lay hidden in the  forests of Virginia. 
Based upon the original letters and journals of the first colonists in North America, Big Chief Elizabeth brings the adventures of the men, woman and children vividly to life.

UK edition available at Amazon|Waterstones
US edition available at Amazon|Barnes&Noble


‘In an exceptionally pungent, amusing and accessible historical account, Giles Milton brings readers right into the midst of these colonists and their daunting American adventure... there’s no question that Mr Milton’s research has been prodigious and that it yields an entertaining, richly informative look at the past.’  Janet Maslin, The New York Times.

‘This grippingly told true adventure story is made all the more immediate by using lavish quotations in wild Elizabethan spelling.’ Peter Lewis, Daily Mail.

‘Milton has a terrific eye for the kind of detail that can bring the past vividly to life off the page,’ wrote reviewer, Steve King. ‘He revels in the grim realities of the early colonists’ experience. There’s disease, famine, torture, cannibalism and every kind of deprivation imaginable. Milton’s fondness for the faintly off-colour vignette makes for stomach-turning but compelling reading.’ Steve King, The Spectator.

‘Milton has amassed an impressive amount of information from original sources, and it is evidence from Elizabethan journals that makes this such a vivid story.’ The Sunday Times.

‘It’s almost impossible to summarise Milton’s book, from which marvellous, vivid stories spill out like swagsack booty.’  Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian.