Kerrie Mitchell
June 13, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Painter in a Savage Land

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Miles Harvey
publisher
Random House
genre
History, Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

The first European artist in North America, Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, landed in the New World in 1564 as part of an expedition to claim La Florida for France. This rip-roaring account of Le Moyne’s adventures includes piracy, naval warfare, a massacre, and brushes with a soon-to-be-extinct indigenous tribe. It’s a testament to Miles Harvey’s research and style that he can powerfully evoke a man about whom so few documentary traces remain. And while the narrative loses drive when Le Moyne returns to Europe, Painter in a Savage Land remains a poignant attempt to rescue a forgotten moment in American history. B+

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