sirwalterraleghSir Walter Ralegh (the way he spelled it) was so much more than a promoter of tobacco–although he certainly did promote tobacco. He was so much more than a man who lay down his cloak so Queen Elizabeth I would not get her feet wet–a story which may or may not be true. He was a man from a poor background who rose almost as high as one could in Elizabethan England–and then fell about as low. Stunningly researched, brilliantly written, full of fascinating facts (did you know there were no maps of England that showed ROADS until the 1590s), this is young adult writing at its finest.

School Library Journal

This book is exemplary nonfiction and pure gold for libraries.

Publishers Weekly

Aronson’s portrait of “the first modern man” is both provocative and tantalizing, revealing his subject as a person of canny wit and magnetism with all-too-human shortcomings. Age 11-up.


The book chronicles Ralegh’s rise from his country-bumpkin origins to Elizabeth’s courtier and goes on to describe how his ambition pointed him toward the New World. It also reveals much about the intrigue at Queen Elizabeth’s court, as well as the motives and machinations of those living in the Americas.

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