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On a quest for his lost nephew an eighteenth-century Englishman journeys across America, before finally discovering the startling truth about the 'bastard boy'.Ned Gudgeon is asked to find the bastard child his brother Daniel, fathered in America during the Seven Years War. Following the few clues he has, he travels first to a Carolina plantation, where he helps two slaves to escape; to Mount Vern, to see Daniel's former brother-officer, George Washington; and then across the Appalachians, into the wild 'back country' of the frontier - where he has a series of perilous adventures with settlers and bandits, visionaries and murderers, land-speculators and American Indians. As he is confronted with the upheavals of history, he is forced to question his most fundamental ideas about liberty and slavery, savagery and civilisation.
James Wilson was born in Cambridge in 1948 and educated at Oxford University, where he read History. He has written plays, TV documentaries (including the award-winning 'Savagery and the American Indian' for the BBC) and a critically acclaimed history of Native Americans, The Earth Shall Weep, published by Picador and Grove/Atlantic. He is a member of the executive committee of Survival, an international organization campaigning for the rights of indigenous peoples, and acts as their consultant on North American cases. In 1999 he co-wrote a Survival report, Canada's Tibet: the Killing of the Innu, which created a political storm in Canada.He lives with his wife and family in Bristol, and is currently at work on his second novel.