On 24 June 1497, the Genoese adventurer John Cabot, bearing letters patent from King Henry VII, became the first European known to have set foot in North America. (Cabot's contemporary, Christopher Columbus, never actually landed in North America. To his dying day he thought it was the Orient.) Cabot's triumphant appropriation of the "New Founde Land" for England capped one of the great maritime adventures of the late fifteenth century. Five hundred years later, theMatthew, a painstakingly constructed replica of Cabot's three-masted caravel, sailed from Bristol, England, to Bonavista, Newfoundland. Her arrival marked the culmination of a maritime adventure as daring in its way as the voyage it commemorates. This time, however, the trials of the captain and sailors on board were recorded on camera and in reporters' notebooks for armchair onlookers to enjoy. Peter Firstbrook has been intimately involved in the recreation of Cabot's voyage, from the laying down of the modern-dayMatthew's keel in 1993 to its sea trials in 1996 and the voyage itself in 1997. In these pages he relates all that is known about the fifteenth-century adventurer and describes the many challenges that confronted the team that set out to replicate his voyage. The book concludes, like Cabot's own life, with a mystery: there is no record of how the great seafarer ended his days. He may have simply retired. He may have been lost in a storm on his last attempted voyage to America. Or he may, in fact, have returned to the newly discovered continent only to be murdered by a notorious Spanish buccaneer. This is a finely wrought story of adventure and discovery that will delight and entertain readers on both sides of the Atlantic.