A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown

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by Hobson Woodward
     
 

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"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative." -Nathaniel Philbrick

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set

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Overview

"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative." -Nathaniel Philbrick

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail for the New World aboard the Sea Venture, only to wreck on the shores of Bermuda. Strachey's meticulous account of the tragedy, the castaways' time in Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown, remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Though Strachey had literary aspirations, only in the hands of another William would his tale make history as The Tempest-a fascinating connection across time and literature that Hobson Woodward brings vividly to life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hobson Woodward [writes] with admirable scholarship, wit, and cunning"
-Boston Globe

"Like Shakespeare before him, Hobson Woodward...excels at using his source materials to produce a richly textured adventure story...If you're interested in Jamestown, shipwrecks or Shakespeare, you'll want...this book"
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The exquisitely detailed story of the 17th-century ship that helped inspire Shakespeare's The Tempest...skillfully written history."
-Kirkus (starred review)

"[A] fruitful combination of literature and history."
-Booklist

"Anyone interested in either early America or Shakespeare will want [this book]"
-Library Journal

"On the 400th anniversary of the Sea Venture's wreck on Bermuda, Hobson Woodward recounts the events and personalities of the voyage, the island refuge, and the early Jamestown Colony. He tells the story with accuracy and verve, and makes a compelling case for Shakespeare's indebtedness to William Strachey when writing The Tempest. Woodward's Brave Vessel is learned, lucid, and engrossing."
-Alden Vaughan, Professor emeritus of History at Columbia University and coeditor of the Arden edition of The Tempest

"A Brave Vessel is a real-life story of heroism and human ambition as thrilling as any Hollywood fiction. Injecting popular history with a wealth of little-known detail, it traces a fascinating story of unlikely survival-and the impact a single, freak event in the mid-Atlantic had on the fortunes of America's birthplace and the world's greatest playwright. Woodward immerses us in the mindset of 17- century colonists and the immense challenges and tragedies of their endeavor. He entwines true events with their literary spin-offs, and in doing so, brings both to life."
-Rosemary Jones, author, Bermuda: Five Centuries

Boston Globe
Hobson Woodward [writes] with admirable scholarship, wit, and cunning
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Like Shakespeare before him, Hobson Woodward...excels at using his source materials to produce a richly textured adventure story...If you're interested in Jamestown, shipwrecks or Shakespeare, you'll want...this book
Booklist
[A] fruitful combination of literature and history.
Library Journal
Anyone interested in either early America or Shakespeare will want [this book]

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143117520
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/29/2010
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,410,719
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Alden Vaughan
On the 400th anniversary of the Sea Venture's wreck on Bermuda, Hobson Woodward recounts the events and personalities of the voyage, the island refuge, and the early Jamestown Colony. He tells the story with accuracy and verve, and makes a compelling case for Shakespeare's indebtedness to William Strachey when writing The Tempest. Woodward's Brave Vessel is learned, lucid, and engrossing. (Alden Vaughan, Professor emeritus of History at Columbia University and coeditor of the Arden edition of The Tempest)
Rosemary Jones
A Brave Vessel is a real-life story of heroism and human ambition as thrilling as any Hollywood fiction. Injecting popular history with a wealth of little-known detail, it traces a fascinating story of unlikely survival-and the impact a single, freak event in the mid-Atlantic had on the fortunes of America's birthplace and the world's greatest playwright. Woodward immerses us in the mindset of 17- century colonists and the immense challenges and tragedies of their endeavor. He entwines true events with their literary spin-offs, and in doing so, brings both to life. (Rosemary Jones, author, Bermuda: Five Centuries)
From the Publisher
"Hobson Woodward [writes] with admirable scholarship, wit, and cunning"
-Boston Globe

"Like Shakespeare before him, Hobson Woodward...excels at using his source materials to produce a richly textured adventure story...If you're interested in Jamestown, shipwrecks or Shakespeare, you'll want...this book"
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The exquisitely detailed story of the 17th-century ship that helped inspire Shakespeare's The Tempest...skillfully written history."
-Kirkus

"[A] fruitful combination of literature and history."
-Booklist

"Anyone interested in either early America or Shakespeare will want [this book]"
-Library Journal

"On the 400th anniversary of the Sea Venture's wreck on Bermuda, Hobson Woodward recounts the events and personalities of the voyage, the island refuge, and the early Jamestown Colony. He tells the story with accuracy and verve, and makes a compelling case for Shakespeare's indebtedness to William Strachey when writing The Tempest. Woodward's Brave Vessel is learned, lucid, and engrossing."
-Alden Vaughan, Professor emeritus of History at Columbia University and coeditor of the Arden edition of The Tempest

"A Brave Vessel is a real-life story of heroism and human ambition as thrilling as any Hollywood fiction. Injecting popular history with a wealth of little-known detail, it traces a fascinating story of unlikely survival-and the impact a single, freak event in the mid-Atlantic had on the fortunes of America's birthplace and the world's greatest playwright. Woodward immerses us in the mindset of 17- century colonists and the immense challenges and tragedies of their endeavor. He entwines true events with their literary spin-offs, and in doing so, brings both to life."
-Rosemary Jones, author, Bermuda: Five Centuries

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Meet the Author

Hobson Woodward is associate editor of the Adam Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. He lives near Boston.

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A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
XD CX
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging retelling of this amazing story and the events surroundiing it. Sure to plese adventure lovers. History buffs. And SHakespeare enthusiasts.
Crabber-1967 More than 1 year ago
This book is an interesting combination of the founding of English Bermuda, the survival of a shipwreck, the survival of the Jamestown Virginia colony, and the inspiration for Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Having been born [and continuing living] in Hampton VA [founded in 1610], just down the road from Jamestown, I found this a fascinating part of the history of the survival of Jamestown and thus the survival of English America. If you enjoy visiting Bermuda, as I do, then you will find the connection between Jamestown and Bermuda of great interest. "Brave Vessel" tells of the shipwreck, in 1609, of the Sea Venture on the reefs of Bermuda. The Jamestown's new leaders were on Sea Venture, and survived for nearly a year before building two ships to continue on to Jamestown. William Strachey, a writer on the ship who was hired by the Virginia Company to record the events on Jamestown, recorded the happenings of the shipwreck. Strachey's letter to a potential patron, that was sent back to England during his stay in Jamestown was the inspiration for "The Tempest." "A Brave Vessel : The true tale of the castaways who rescued Jamestown" is an excellent account of how this all happened. This book will be an excellent read for Fans of history, whether it is of America or Bermuda, as well as those who are fans of Shakespeare, and are curious about the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's most respected works. Those who enjoy a good adventure story, or are fascinated about shipwrecks will find enjoyment here too. This book is an excellent read, and connects for the reader the founding of Bermuda 400 years ago [and may finally answer the question: "Why is Bermuda mentioned in The Tempest, when the play is supposed to take place in the Mediterranean Sea?"] with the survival of English America and great literature. I recommend this book most highly. You will enjoy it.