Meet Anthony Knivet: gentleman, baker, lover, linguist, explorer, Englishman. And an indispensable advisor to celebrated generals and Portuguese governors alike… not to mention the kings of several Brazilian tribes.
Roebuck – Tales of an Admirable Adventurer is a swashbuckling tale of the highest order, following Knivet’s escapades in South America during the 1590s. Desperate to prove his worth to his father and his betrothed, he embarks with Thomas Cavendish on the explorer’s ill-fated circumnavigation of the globe. Portuguese colonists want to hang him as a heretic and cannibals wait in the jungle with a hankering for his flesh, but Knivet is determined to carve a name for himself in this brave New World, despite the bizarre, unsavoury and sometimes just plain evil characters that stand in his way.
Whether acting as interpreter elect for the sadistic Cavendish; confidant to the devout but dangerous Governor of Rio de Janeiro; or the guide upon which the entire Portuguese army comes to depend, Knivet single-mindedly strives for the recognition he believes he is due. Finally, deep in the Brazilian jungle, he does find his calling: inciting the tribes to unite, rise up against their Portuguese oppressors and thus change the history of Brazil forever.
Inspired by the true story of Anthony Knivet’s 16th century expeditions through South America, Roebuck is a thrilling historical adventure and the stunning debut novel from celebrated travel writer Luke Waterson.
Luke has plied a trade from writing for over a decade, often with a travel slant. Work has seen him landed in a variety of scrapes – almost toppling into a chasm on an Andean bus journey, almost drowning in the Amazon – not wholly unlike the somewhat reckless protagonist in his debut novel, Roebuck (set on the stormy seas and in the strange jungles of 16th-century South America).
A Creative Writing graduate from the University of East Anglia, Luke has written for publications including the BBC, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Guardian and travel publishers Lonely Planet, for whom he currently specialises in telling the world about the Amazon Basin – present and past. One could infer from this that he is overly obsessed with rainforests – but the truth is that he likes hiking, anywhere – as long as it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Born in Southwest England, he currently lives in the mountainous forests of Slovakia. Why? That is another story…