Friday, April 4, 2008


The conventional image of the Pilgrims is that of a single boatload of people who landed in Plymouth in 1620, spent the rest of their lives in the New World, and established a European colony that eventually went on to become the United States. In other words, Pilgrim = Mayflower passenger.
In her first book, historian and theologist Susan Hardman Moore takes a broader approach. Pilgrims: New World settlers & the call of home looks at the Puritans who arrived in New England following the Mayflower. More specifically, this book focuses on those who eventually returned home to England. Moore argues that migration to the New World was not an endpoint to the spiritual and political journey of these people and that their return home was not due solely to a failure to thrive in the Americas. She discusses the effects that the Cromwellian Revolution and the power struggles of Puritans and Anglicans in England had on the far-off pilgrims. She also looks at the financial considerations involved with establishing and maintaining settlements in the New World, as well as growing tensions with settlers from other European nations.
Exhaustively researched, with copious endnotes and appendices (over half the book, in fact), Pilgrims will introduce you to another part of the colonization story and a deeper understanding of who these people were who faced the horrible trans-Atlantic crossing twice.

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