The life of Thomas Morton, writer and satirist, lawyer and social reformer, outspoken critic of the Puritans, and the first falconer in the United States.
In the early 1600s, Thomas Morton sailed to the New World, founded the settlement of Merrymount and, unlike other Anglican colonists, introduced an unusual British activity to American soil: falconry.
This legacy is what sets fellow falconer Ben Crane on a journey to tell Morton's story, learning about his life by reconstructing it. Crane visits the rugged Dartmoor landscape where Morton learnt to fly birds of prey and flies goshawks on the planes of Massachusetts. He travels through New England towns looking for the courtrooms where Morton was tried and imprisoned, and spends time with contemporary members of the Wampanoag Tribe.
As Crane traces his way through Morton's life, he realises there are profound lessons for the modern era. More than the biography of an iconoclast, this is a story about the power of the written word, the ongoing threat to traditional cultures, and our endless and ever-evolving relationship with the natural world.
'A powerful story [...] of the ties that bind us, both to nature and our own families' TLS.
'[Ben Crane] writes wonderfully about the natural world; he has a keen and sharp eye, alert to find detail and beauty that most of us might miss' Church Times, Books of the Year.
'I was moved to tears by Ben Crane's beautiful memoir' Good Housekeeping