The English Slave
Andrews’ The English Slave tells a dark and exciting segment of John Smith’s life that isn’t in the standard school textbooks. Hearing the name ‘John Smith’ probably conjures Jamestown and the oft erroneous and romanticised story of Pocahontas. It probably doesn’t conjure the Ottoman Empire and Smith as a slave.
During the Long Turkish War, Smith was wounded in battle and captured. Along with several other prisoners, Smith was sold as a slave. Purchased by a Turkish nobleman, he was sent to Constantinople (not Istanbul) to the man’s mistress, Aisha (sorry. I just couldn’t resist). As might be predicted, the lady fell in love with her ‘exotic’ English slave. Smith eventually escaped captivity and returned to England to go on to voyage to the Americas.
This was a fascinating look into an oft glossed-over or completely ignored time during Smith’s life and is a masterful exploration of the enigmatic woman who received him as a slave. We immediately jump into the thick of things, and Andrews keeps up the intense, engaging action. I love historical fiction, and quite enjoyed exploring an era new to me. The English Slave is well-researched with plenty of fascinating facts about the culture and time period.
Recommended for any who enjoy historical fiction, and particularly the life of John Smith, of the history of the Ottoman Empire.
|Page Count||342 pages|
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