You know when you buy a new car and for some time thereafter you seem to see others of the same model every time you venture out?

Well, I haven’t bought a Chesapeake, but, ever since my mention of Chesapeake Mill on 4th, it has followed me around. First, Barrie Haynes sent me details of how the mill got its name, with a picture of USS Chesapeake, which I added to my post; then Chesapeake Bay turned up in a book I have just finished reading.

The volume is a history of the first thirty years of England’s attempts to colonise Virginia. This, ‘Big Chief Elizabeth’, by Giles Milton, is no dry tome. It reads as the rollicking adventure story that it is. It is also a mystery tale concerning the fate of the first settlers on Roanoke Island. The reader is gripped from the start. The writing is fluid, with judicious use of quotations that enhance the text rather than simply fill it out. More than half a millennium on, and in full knowledge of the European taking of America, we really want to know the outcome. That, of course, is why I can give no more detail. It is perhaps fortuitous that I should have begun reading this at Thanksgiving time.

My Folio Society edition is well illustrated, with photographs,

Chief's wife and daughterChief Wingina

such as these of John White’s portraits from 1485,

Roanoke map 001Roanoke map 002

and useful maps by Reginald Piggot;

Big Chief Elizabeth001

and sports a front board decoration by Gavin Morris.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole; mashed potato; boiled carrots, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. I consumed more of the cabernet sauvignon.