Catalogue


Savage kingdom : the true story of Jamestown, 1607, and the settlement of America /
Benjamin Woolley.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2007.
description
xviii, 469 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0060090561, 9780060090562
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2007.
isbn
0060090561
9780060090562
general note
Originally published as "Savage kingdom : Virginia and the founding of English America" in the United Kingdom in 2007 by HarperPress.
abstract
Four centuries ago, a group of men--led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy--left London aboard a fleet of three ships to start a new life in America. They arrived in Virginia in the spring of 1607 and set about trying to create a settlement on a tiny island in the James River. Despite their shortcomings, and against the odds, they built Jamestown, a ramshackle outpost that laid the foundations of the British Empire and the United States of America. Drawing on new discoveries, neglected sources and manuscript collections scattered across the world, this book reveals a reckless, daring enterprise led by outcasts of the Old World who found themselves interlopers in a new one. It charts their journey into a beautiful landscape and a sophisticated culture that they found both ravishing and alien, which they yearned to possess but threatened to destroy--From publisher description.
catalogue key
6245875
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 437-458) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2007-05-01:
The 400th anniversary of England's first permanent settlement in America has inspired a deluge of new works on a topic already well covered by academics and novelists alike, not to mention Disney filmmakers. Here are two more. What distinguishes Woolley's comprehensive history is its remarkably heavy reliance on primary sources from many key players in the successes and failures of Jamestown. Much of the book consists of quotes, making for a wildly disjointed, challenging, yet ultimately highly rewarding read. Woolley's meticulous research provides new insights into the dysfunctional relationships within Jamestown as well as the political, religious, and financial machinations in England that led to, and almost destroyed, the struggling settlement. Encounters with the Native Americans are examined in fascinating and sometimes gory detail. Throughout this highly informative narrative, Woolley remains a neutral recorder of facts, never offering comment, analysis, or perspective. It is an impressive work of scholarship and a worthy addition to any academic and large public library's early Readers seeking a more vivid but less scholarly account of some of the exciting and melodramatic aspects of Jamestown's story might be better served by Doherty's effort. Doherty mixes primary sources with his own assumptions, providing a novelistic account of select episodes in the story, most notably the doomed 1609 voyage of the eponymous ship, which was to have delivered manpower and supplies to the beleaguered colony after a devastating winter, and the Virginia Company's inept leadership throughout the ordeal. Unfortunately and inexplicably, however, he spends much of his work on Pocahontas and her relationships with John Smith and John Rolfe, sinking into melodrama and speculation at the expense of scholarship. Admittedly fascinating, riveting, and well told, Doherty's work nonetheless fails to provide any new insight into any aspect of the Jamestown story. It could be interesting reading for the general public, but scholars and informed lay readers will prefer Woolley's intense, impeccably researched effort.-Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-02-19:
This highly readable account of the founding of Jamestown moves from the English throne to the daily struggles of the colony's first settlers and the experience of Virginia's Indians as their relations with colonists became increasingly strained. Here are the famous tales from early Virginia, like Pocahontas's marriage to John Rolfe. But well-known explorers sit cheek by jowl with fascinating, lesser-known people, such as the colonists' wives, who consulted an astrologer to reassure themselves about their husbands' fate on the open seas. Woolley emphasizes both the financial and religious aims of colonization: English backers expected to get rich on the bounty the settlers would uncover and produce (though the first ships of wood and iron ore sent back disappointed the London Company). But Englishmen also saw Virginia as a "religious mission," an opportunity to spread Protestantism abroad. Woolley persuasively argues that the settlers' aggressive response to a 1623 Indian attack became the "defining moment" in the history of English settlement of Virginia-it was through this event, more than any other, that the colonists articulated their connection to their new land and "crafted and honed their American identity." Woolley blends nuanced analysis with fast-paced narrative. 16 pages of color illus. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, February 2007
Los Angeles Times, March 2007
Booklist, May 2007
Library Journal, May 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Four centuries ago, and fourteen years before the Mayflower, a group of men-led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy-left London aboard a fleet of three ships to start a new life in America. They arrived in Virginia in the spring of 1607 and set about trying to create a settlement on a tiny island in the James River. Despite their shortcomings, and against the odds, they built Jamestown, a ramshackle outpost that laid the foundations of the British Empire and the United States of America. Drawing on new discoveries, neglected sources and manuscript collections scattered across the world, Savage Kingdomchallenges the textbook image of Jamestown as a mere money-making venture. It reveals a reckless, daring enterprise led by outcasts of the Old World who found themselves interlopers in a new one. It charts their journey into a beautiful landscape and a sophisticated culture that they found both ravishing and alien, which they yearned to possess but threatened to destroy. They called their new home a "savage kingdom," but it was the savagery they had experienced in Europe that had driven them across the ocean and which they hoped to escape by building in America "one of the most glorious nations under the sun." An intimate story in an epic setting, Woolley shows how the land of Pocahontas came to be drawn into a new global order, reaching from London to the Orinoco Delta, from the warring kingdoms of Angola to the slave markets of Mexico, from the gates of the Ottoman Empire to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Main Description
Four centuries ago, and fourteen years before the Mayflower, a group of men-led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy-left London aboard a fleet of three ships to start a new life in America. They arrived in Virginia in the spring of 1607 and set about trying to create a settlement on a tiny island in the James River. Despite their shortcomings, and against the odds, they built Jamestown, a ramshackle outpost that laid the foundations of the British Empire and the United States of America. Drawing on new discoveries, neglected sources and manuscript collections scattered across the world, Savage Kingdom challenges the textbook image of Jamestown as a mere money-making venture. It reveals a reckless, daring enterprise led by outcasts of the Old World who found themselves interlopers in a new one. It charts their journey into a beautiful landscape and a sophisticated culture that they found both ravishing and alien, which they yearned to possess but threatened to destroy. They called their new home a "savage kingdom," but it was the savagery they had experienced in Europe that had driven them across the ocean and which they hoped to escape by building in America "one of the most glorious nations under the sun." An intimate story in an epic setting, Woolley shows how the land of Pocahontas came to be drawn into a new global order, reaching from London to the Orinoco Delta, from the warring kingdoms of Angola to the slave markets of Mexico, from the gates of the Ottoman Empire to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Table of Contents
Prologue : the great white fleet
A feast of flowers and bloodp. 3
Machiavellip. 9
The adventurersp. 18
Departurep. 30
Tsenacomocop. 49
Soundingsp. 56
The Spanish ambassadorp. 88
Bloody fluxp. 95
True relationsp. 119
The Virginian seap. 146
El Doradop. 185
The mermaidp. 190
Promised landp. 218
The astrologerp. 234
Devil's islandp. 240
Deliverancep. 262
A pallid anonymous creaturep. 277
Strange fishp. 288
The good husbandp. 306
Twelfth nightp. 329
Imbangalap. 351
The treasurerp. 368
The 'viperous brood'p. 377
The unmasked facep. 390
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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