Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life of Pocahontas, the Native American woman who to English eyes became a symbol of the New World. During the colonisation of Virginia in the first years of the seventeenth century, Pocahontas famously saved the life of an English prisoner, John Smith. Later captured, she converted to Christianity, married a settler and travelled to England where she was regarded as a curiosity. She died in 1617 at the age of 22 and was buried in Gravesend; her story has fascinated generations on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been reinterpreted and retold by many writers and artists.


Susan Castillo
Harriet Beecher Stowe Emeritus Professor of American Studies at King's College London

Tim Lockley
Reader in American Studies at the University of Warwick

Jacqueline Fear-Segal
Reader in American History and Culture at the University of East Anglia

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 21 Nov 2013 21:30


Susan Castillo at King's College London


Tim Lockley at the University of Warwick


Jacqueline Fear-Segal at the University of East Anglia


Virginia Indians


Virginia Indian Program - Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


Pocahontas - Wikipedia





Paula Gunn Allen, Pocahontas:  Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat (Harper Collins, 2004)


Frederic Gleach, Powhatan’s World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures (University of Nebraska Press, 1997)


Edward Wright Haile, Jamestown Narratives: Eyewitness Accounts of the Virginia Colony: The First Decade: 1607-1617 (Roundhouse, 1998)


Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Cornell University Press, 2000)


Frances Mossiker, Pocahontas: The Life and the Legend (Knopf, 1976)


David Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown:  John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of a New Nation (Faber & Faber, 2004)


Daniel Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (Harvard University Press, 2001)


Helen Rountree, Pocahontas’s People: the Powhatan People of Virginia through Four Centuries (University of Oklahoma Press, 1996)


Helen Rountree, Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives changed by Jamestown (University of Virginia Press, 2006)


Robert S. Tilton, Pocahontas: The Evolution of an American Narrative (Cambridge University Press, 1995)


Camilla Townsend, Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma (Hill and Wang, 2004)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestSusan Castillo
Interviewed GuestTim Lockley
Interviewed GuestJacqueline Fear-Segal
ProducerThomas Morris

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