Caroline Dodds Pennock On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe

About the author:

Caroline Dodds Pennock, one of the world’s leading authorities on the Aztecs, is senior lecturer in international history at the University of Sheffield in England, as well as an enthusiastic public historian, consultant, and writer, appearing in programs from the BBC and Netflix. Her study of Aztec society, Bonds of Blood, won the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize in 2008.

About the book:

On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe is a landmark work of narrative history that shatters our previous understanding of the Age of Discovery by telling the story of the thousands of Indigenous Americans who journeyed across the Atlantic to Europe after 1492. For these people—Aztecs, Maya, Totonacs, Inuit, Algonquin, and others, as well as enslaved people, diplomats, explorers, servants, and traders—Europe comprised savage shores: a land of riches and marvels, yet perplexing for its brutal disparities and baffling beliefs. From the Brazilian king who met Henry VIII to the Aztecs who mocked up human sacrifice at the court of Charles V; from the Inuk baby who was put on show in a London pub to the mestizo children of Spaniards who returned “home” with their fathers; from the Inuit who harpooned ducks on the Avon River to the many servants employed by Europeans of every rank: here are people who were rendered exotic, demeaned, and marginalized, but whose worldviews and cultures had a profound impact on European civilization.