N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims

N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims

by Robert San Souci
     
 

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The adventurous saga of the settling of the Plymouth Colony is strikingly portrayed in this magnificent book. Spectacular paintings by renowned artist N.C. Wyeth, gloriously bring to life the carefully researched text by well known children's book author Robert San Souci. The story of the Pilgrims, including the first Thanksgiving, is a central part of America's

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Overview

The adventurous saga of the settling of the Plymouth Colony is strikingly portrayed in this magnificent book. Spectacular paintings by renowned artist N.C. Wyeth, gloriously bring to life the carefully researched text by well known children's book author Robert San Souci. The story of the Pilgrims, including the first Thanksgiving, is a central part of America's history and, over the course of time, it has taken on an almost mythical quality. Drawing upon a variety of resources, including the author's trip to the Plimouth Plantation, the text dispels some popular misconceptions about the setting of our nation as it broadens our understanding of the bravery and determination of our forebears. A beautiful artbook as well as an informative history book, N.C Wyeth's Pilgrims belongs in every home, library, and classroom.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, December 1991
N. C. Wyeth's Pilgrims consists of portions of murals Wyeth did for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1940; a fine text by Robert San Souci; and superlative production by Chronicle Books. Wyeth's restored colors glow with incomparable crystalline brilliance. As a history buff living close to Plymouth, I am delighted with San Souci's straightforward telling of the story. He skirts myth and legend without losing any of the romance or the achievement of that band of "Separatists and Strangers." Though there were no cattle in Plymouth at the time of the first Thanksgiving, as San Souci points out, the cover showing Wyeth's painting of a pilgrim maid riding a garland-bedecked cow is irresistible.

BOOKLIST, October 15, 1991
Stunning reproductions of Wyeth's murals of the Plymouth Colony (commissioned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in the 1940s) are combined with San Soud's clear; succinct text in a beautiful new offering. Using the writings of William Bradford as well as authoritative sources from the Plimoth Plantation, San Souci skillfully describes the journy of the Separatists and the Strangers (later known collectively as the Pilgrims) aboard the Mayflower to the New World. He also chronicles the hardships endured during their first year in America and the preparations for the frst Thanksgiving. In an afterword, San Souci is careful to note a few unintentional errors in Wyeth's paintings (for example, cows were not brought to Plymouth until 1624, and the Pilgrims did not always wear somber clothing). A second note explains the background behind Wyeth's paintings. The text has been boxed to set it off from the full-color artwork, making this a handsome as well as an informative book. Reminiscent of Marda Sewall's Pilgrims of Plimoth, the book will be a welcome addition to libraries.

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Wyeth's 14-panel mural of the early Pilgrim years, done for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company building in the early 1940s, has been handsomely reproduced (although never in its entirety) to accompany a spare but aesthetically appealing recitation of the legends of Myles Standish, Squanto, and the anticlimactic "First Thanksgiving." The figures are solidly rendered, as if cut from Plymouth's rocky soil, and wear the expected white collars, flowing capes, bonnets, and high-crowned hats. Readers are offered broad vistas, in keeping with mural design, but also closeups of significant objects like a full-sailed Mayflower or a flirtatious maid at her spinnmg wheel. The overall visual effect is softly upbeat and romantic. Even winter snow-scenes are suffused with a heavenly light that must surely symbolize success. If this visual version of the Pilgrims is much more myth than fact, so what? The endpapers reproduce the Mayflower's passenger list that records the many deaths, remarriages, and births of the early years, ignored in Wyeth's paintings. San Souci's text, mostly unrelated to the pictures, does provide a modicum of information about the reasons for the flight from England and some of the events involved with producing a settlement. These bits of the record can be found in many other histories. What makes this book special is that it is to be experienced as a healthy fairly tale told with artistic poetency and a strong sense of the human scale of the history.

Stunning reproductions of N.C. Wyeth's murals of the Plymouth Colony...are combined with San Souci's clear, succinct text...This book will be a welcome addition to libraries. Booklist

...a fine text by Robert and superlative production. The Horn Book

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known for his illustrations of such classics as Treasure Island and Robin Hood , N. C. Wyeth also had a successful career as a muralist. In the '40s he created a series of murals for New York's Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, presented here in all their restored glory. The paintings offer an idyllic, highly romanticized vision of Pilgrim life--the robust men and women and lush surroundings, for example, don't even hint at the severe deprivations suffered by the original colonists. This shortcoming is outweighed by the breathtaking scope and beauty of the illustrations and the glimpse they offer of an unspoiled country's bounty. San Souci's workmanlike text is well researched, accurate and packed with information. Unfortunately, it never rises above the prosaic, and ends up sounding like the soundtrack to a particularly didactic documentary. Geared primarily toward the classroom (the book is dedicated to the schoolteachers of America), this volume isn't without merit, but its lack of immediacy and sparkle will not do much to breathe life into the subject of history. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
San Souci created a spirited narrative to accompany the famous murals of N.C. Wyeth. In challenge to the customary view of Pilgrim life, Wyeth chose to portray the peace that the religious wayfarers came to know in the New World. He infused the pictures of their lives with the colors of the land, the sea and the rich, golden harvest. Without the somber gray and brown of classic Pilgrim stories, it is possible for young readers to capture the joy and the love that was surely a part of Pilgrim lives.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Mr. San Souci's account of the Pilgrims' progress is set against the backdrop of N.C. Wyeth's murals commissioned in the early 1940s by the New York Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Paintings and words vivify the times that preceded the settlers' first Thanksgiving Day in North America. The artist's romanticized interpretation occasionally belies the author's well-researched narrative, however, and, in an afterword, Mr. San Souci carefully notes which details are misrepresented. He also provides more information about Mr. Wyeth, his murals, and the establishment of Thanksgiving Day, the holiday. A reproduction of the Mayflower passenger list comprises this charming book's endpapers.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- Wyeth's 14-panel mural of the early Pilgrim years, done for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company building in the early 1940s, has been handsomely reproduced (although never in its entirety) to accompany a spare but aesthetically appealing recitation of the legends of Myles Standish, Squanto, and the anticlimactic ``First Thanksgiving.'' The figures are solidly rendered, as if cut from Plymouth's rocky soil, and wear the expected white collars, flowing capes, bonnets, and high-crowned hats. Readers are offered broad vistas, in keeping with mural design, but also closeups of significant objects like a full-sailed Mayflower or a flirtatious maid at her spinning wheel. The overall visual effect is softly upbeat and romantic. Even winter snow scenes are suffused with a heavenly light that must surely symbolize success. If this visual version of the Pilgrims is much more myth than fact, so what? The endpapers reproduce the Mayflower's passenger list that records the many deaths, remarriages, and births of the early years, ignored in Wyeth's paintings. San Souci's text, mostly unrelated to the pictures, does provide a modicum of information about the reasons for the flight from England and some of the events involved with producing a settlement. These bits of the record can be found in many other histories. What makes this book special is that it is to be experienced as a healthy fairy tale told with artistic potency and a strong sense of the human scale of the history. --Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811814867
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.12(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
1030L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Robert D. San Souci has retold numerous traditional tales and legends, including The Talking Egg, and The Faithful Friend, both of which received Caldecott Honors and Coretta Scott King Honors. He lives in Northern California.

N.C. Wyeth is renowned for his illustrations of children's classics like Treasure Island, Robin Hood, and The Last of the Mohicans. The paintings used to illustrate this book are from a series of murals commissioned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Compa

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