Sunday, March 4, 2012
George in London by Tim Queeney
George Washington made a brief visit to Barbados as a young man and never again left America. Well, that’s what the history books say. But an eighteenth-century manuscript discovered in the foundation of Mount Vernon changes everything. The manuscript tells of 19-year-old George Washington’s comic, picaresque 1751 trip to London seeking his fortune.
This isn’t George Washington the stuffy old founding father with the wooden teeth. He’s a young man still finding his voice. A younger son with no inheritance, George must make his own way in the world.
The newly discovered manuscript was written by George’s traveling companion, Darius Attucks, an African-American master mariner. Though an experienced sailor, Darius is barely older than George and not quite the man of the world he imagines himself. After saving George’s life in a shipwreck, Darius is convinced he has been tasked by Heaven to be George’s guide.
Darius and George join their patron, a German baron, and sell American land to wealthy Londoners. The well-connected baron promises George cash, a title and even a country estate for his efforts. Best of all, George wins the love of Sophie, a beautiful French countess. George’s expedition to London seems an utter success. What could possibly go wrong?