A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Time Period
16,000 BCE to 1622 CE
Media Type
Politics & Government
James Horn

On May 27, 2010, James Horn discussed his book A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

In 1587, a small band of men, women, and children put down the first tentative roots of English settlement on the sandy soil of Roanoke Island along the North Carolina coast, in what was then considered part of Virginia. In the face of dwindling supplies and hostile Indians, the English leader, John White, left his family and friends and re-crossed the Atlantic in a desperate attempt to assemble ships to rescue the failing colony. However, the threat from the Spanish Armada delayed his return until 1590, and when he did, the colonists had completely disappeared. In his dramatic new account, master historian James Horn revisits the tragedy of this first, failed effort at English colonization in the New World. He offers new evidence about what happened to the Lost Colony and its people.

The author of five books on early American history, James Horn is vice president of research and historical interpretation and director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library at Colonial Williamsburg.

This lecture was cosponsored with the Society of Colonial Wars in Virginia.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

 Want to listen to an audio-only version of this lecture? Listen now on Soundcloud.