In this beautiful and feelingly written book, Mary Lee Settle tells the story of Roger Williams: the most compelling figure in colonial America. Plucked from obscurity to clerk for the celebrated English jurist Sir Edward Coke, Williams had a ringside seat on the brutal politics of Jacobean London. He was witness to the pomp of the Star Chamber; the burning of a dissenter; and the humiliation of his master by King James and the royal favorite, the dangerously beautiful Buckingham. Haunted by ambition and love for a woman above his station, he fled to New England, where repression and conformity wore different clothes. In Settle's terrific account, the little known history of Williams emerges in layers, detailing the turbulent, dedicated life of a man committed to individuality and political freedom.