Mayflower Lives: Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience

Mayflower Lives: Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience

by Martyn Whittock


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A fresh and revealing history of one of the most seminal events in American history as seen through fourteen diverse and dynamic figures.

Leading into the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower, Martyn Whittock examines the lives of the “saints” (members of the Separatist puritan congregations) and “strangers” (economic migrants) on the original ship who collectively became known to history as “the Pilgrims.”

The story of the Pilgrims has taken on a life of its own as one of our founding national myths—their escape from religious persecution, the dangerous transatlantic journey, that brutal first winter. Throughout the narrative, we meet characters already familiar to us through Thanksgiving folklore—Captain Jones, Myles Standish, and Tisquantum (Squanto)—as well as new ones.

There is Mary Chilton, the first woman to set foot on shore, and asylum seeker William Bradford. We meet fur trapper John Howland and little Mary More, who was brought as an indentured servant. Then there is Stephen Hopkins, who had already survived one shipwreck and was the only Mayflower passenger with any prior American experience. Decidedly un-puritanical, he kept a tavern and was frequently chastised for allowing drinking on Sundays.

Epic and intimate, Mayflower Lives is a rich and rewarding book that promises to enthrall readers of early American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643131320
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 470,389
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Martyn Whittock has written numerous educational and history books, including titles on Viking and Anglo-Saxon history. He has been a consultant for the BBC, English Heritage and the National Trust and has written for Medieval History magazine and other archaeological journals.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The Master's Story: Christopher Jones, Master of the Mayflower 1

2 The Asylum Seeker's Story: William Bradford, a Saint Fleeing Babylon 19

3 The Mother's Story: Susanna White, Mother of the First Baby Born in New England 42

4 The Adventurer's Story: Stephen Hopkins, Survivor of Shipwreck and with Unique New World Experience 62

5 The Outsider's Story: Tisquantum (Squanto), Native American 85

6 The Teenager's Story: Mary Chilton, Reputedly the First to Step onto Plymouth Rock 106

7 The Exiled Little Servant's Story: Mary More, Unwanted Four-Year-Old 127

8 The Man Overboard's Story: John Howland, Indentured Servant, Negotiator, and Fur Trapper 142

9 The Preacher's Story: William Brewster, Saint, Diplomat, and Preacher 161

10 The Pamphleteer's Story: Edward Winslow, Pilgrim Leader, Colony Agent, and Lobbyist 188

11 The Soldier's Story: Captain Myles Standish, Commander of the Plymouth Colony Militia 207

12 The Lovers' Story: John Alden and Priscilla Mullins 227

13 The Rebels' Story: the Billingtons, the Soules, and Other Challenges to Morality and Order 241

14 The American Mariner's Story: Richard More, New World Sea Captain 256

15 Seeing the New England Forest for the Trees 270

Acknowledgments 273

Endnotes 275

Index 297

Customer Reviews