With a life that would rival any adventure hero’s, Pierre-Esprit Radisson’s unbelievable story is only now being told. Born in France in the late 1630s and immigrating to Quebec as a child, Radisson was like a frontiersman Forrest Gump—he travelled the world, met some of the most influential figures in history, and took risks no sensible person would take in any age.
Kidnapped at fifteen by the Mohawks on the banks of the Saint-Lawrence River (who then adopted him as one of their own), Radisson escaped to early New York City, then was in London during the Great Plague and Great Fire—and was a guest in the courts of both Charles II and Louis XIV. He was wooed by Jesuit and English spies in an early form of corporate espionage related to the fur trade and his own illegal smuggling exploits. He double-crossed the English, French, Dutch, and even his own Mohawk family. He was marooned by Dutch pirates in Spain, then later shipwrecked on the reefs of Venezuela with a group of French pirates, who he had joined on a military expedition against Dutch-held Curacao and Tobago. Most lastingly, he spent time in the Arctic as a fur trader, and helped establish the Hudson’s Bay Company, North America’s oldest company, which is still in business today, almost 350 years later.
Spending his life trying to succeed in the fur trade business, Radisson was continuously thwarted by kings, princes, and the revolutionary events of his time, eventually retiring to England with a bounty on his head and dying in 1710. Sourced from his journals, which opened to the public for the first time in 2017, Bush Runner is a true-life adventure story like no other—and will engross and fascinate readers everywhere.