Forgotten Englishman concerns the remarkable Jesuit mission to the East in the 16th century. The book is based around the life of Thomas Stephens, a missionary priest from Wiltshire. After study in Rome, he sailed to Goa aboard a Portuguese carrack: the first Englishman to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, leaving an account of the voyage. The Jesuits compiled the first dictionaries and grammars of Asian languages, introduced the printing press to India and began the silk trade in Japan, founding the port of Nagasaki: western science and astronomy were introduced to China: colourful accounts were written of life at the Court of the Moghul Emperor, Akbar the Great. Thomas Stephens wrote a classic of Indian literature, the Christian Purana, in the Maratha language. The book presents an engaging picture of Portuguese India, the cultural clashes, medical facilities, sexual mores and other aspects of life in 'Golden Goa'.