Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colonyby Lee Miller
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November 1587. A report reaches London that Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition, which left England months before to land the first English settlers in America, has foundered. On Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, a tragedy is unfolding. Something has gone very wrong, and the colony—115 men, women, and children, among them the first English child born in the New World, Virginia Dare—is in trouble. But there will be no rescue. Before help can reach them, all will vanish with barely a trace.
The Lost Colony is America’s oldest unsolved mystery. In this remarkable example of historical detective work, Lee Miller goes back to the original evidence and offers a fresh solution to the enduring legend. She establishes beyond doubt that the tragedy of the Lost Colony did not begin on the shores of Roanoke but within the walls of Westminster, in the inner circle of Queen Elizabeth’s government. As Miller detects, powerful men had reason to want Raleigh’s mission to fail. Furthermore, Miller shows what must have become of the settlers, left to face a hostile world that was itself suffering the upheavals of an alien invasion. Narrating a thrilling tale of court intrigue, spy rings, treachery, sabotage, Native American politics, and colonial power, Miller has finally shed light on a four-hundred-year-old unsolved mystery.
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Meet the Author
Lee Miller holds a master’s degree in anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. She was head of research and a writer for the CBS TV series 500 Nations and a consultant for the BBC TV series Land of the Eagle. She has also served as a consultant for various Indian nations, as well as for U.S. federal and state agencies, including the Library of Congress. Of Kaw heritage, she is the founder of the Native Learning Foundation and the author of From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian. She lives in upstate New York.
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I was disappointed by this book because I found Lee Miller's writing style very difficult to read. She chooses to relate the narrative of the Roanoke colony as if she were relating the story out loud, hence the narrative is told in the present tense, peppered with incomplete sentences, a strange use of italics rather than quotes, and annoying ellipses...as if to suggest...one was reading a detective novel rather than nonfiction history. It made for very slow and often frustrating reading.
A completely different look at the lost colony story we all heard as children. The tie-in with Raleigh and Walsingham was especially interesting as, like most, I had always considered this a purely early American story. I do wish I had read this as other than an eBook. I liked that Ms. Miller put all of her footnotes at the end, so as to allow the story 's unfolding to flow but often felt the need to look at a footnote right away or, often, to refer back to earlier pages in the book. Unfortunately, on my nook, this required the often irritating need to write down (when I remembered) the page I had been on on the narrative before moving around in the text Nook needs to add some bookmark support for a book like this..
Interesting detailed history of the "lost" colony of Roanoke, the last part of which reads like "whodunit" with a good bit of "what if".
Very enlightening book with regard to the early settlement on Roanoke Island. Well written, and interesting.
Ever since I heard of the disappearance of the colonists at Roanoke, I have been curious about what might have happened. That is what caught my interest. I saw this book in a Barnes and Noble store and began reading it on my Nook while I was there. Soon, I was hooked. I've read several historical works about the Elizabethan Era, but this one is unique. The author explores how the people and their activities relate to various developments from each point of view. The author is investigating the disappearance as if it was a crime, not simply a tragedy.
I read this on the basis of an NPR interview-review. Ms. Miller uncovered important new documents on the subject from the UK. However the work shows a serious lack of historical discipline. She needs to have studied or consulted more with historians. She uncritically accepts documents from the Inquisition that are known forgeries, and she also uncritically incorporates speculations about Native American copper-ore mining and smelting in the Carolinas, for which there is no generally accepted evidence. The very final lines of her text most likely do indicate the ultimate fate of any survivors; assimilation in the native population.
The first couple of chapters were very interesting. I liked how she started out writing about Roanoke and in the end how she stated her theory. But I thought the middle of the book was utterly boring- mainly because no one cares about Raleigh or any of the other highly important people of the monarchy that have nothing to do with Roanoke. I do like her research on the subject, but frankly, there was just way too many descriptive words than necessary. I also do not completely agree with her theory. I do not know how she came up with all the theories like she did, when there was absolutely nothing there when White returned to Roanoke to rescue the colonists.