As the first volume in de Bry's celebrated Grand Voyages, a series of publications chronicling many of the earliest expeditions to the Americas, this book, which incorporates a 1588 text by Thomas Hariot, was illustrated and published in four languages. It became for many Europeans their first glimpse of the American continent. Accompanying the Latin facsimile is an English text. The first section is modernized from earlier versions of the English, and the second part, which accompanies the plates, is newly translated from the original Latin.
In addition to a valuable introduction, the book includes two illuminating essays. The first, by Karen Ordahl Kupperman, examines the early American settlement and tells how a collaboration between the writer and mathematician Thomas Hariot and the artist John White (later governor of the Roanoke Colony) evolved into a rich study not only of English colonial life but of the Indian culture and the natural resources of the region. The second essay, by Peter Stallybrass, uncovers new information in the much studied plates and presents an intriguing theory about the creation and importance of the engravings.
(From the publisher's description)