2 journalers for this copy...
It's a fascinating (and often heart-wrenching) look at early colonial life, from the first landings at Cape Cod and Plymouth in 1620 to the end of King Philip's War in 1676. There are haunting scenes of the first landing, where the Pilgrims encountered beaches and wooded areas but "nowhere had they found any people." That would change, of course, and the book shows those encounters from the viewpoint of the native peoples as well as of the Pilgrims. There are personal tragedies as well as community-wide ones on both sides, with some tragic misunderstandings - and some deliberately evil choices too - triggering bloody vengeance.
There are tales of great kindness, too, and of good intentions and tremendous effort towards survival. One has to wonder how things might have turned out if diplomacy had worked...
The many illustrations, maps and photographs illustrate the setting, and there are a surprising number of artifacts from those days, so one can see a picture of the actual swords or goblets used by the early Pilgrims, and some items attributed to Metacom (King Philip) himself. Fascinating!
[Also recommended: Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates, which deals with some of the same people and events but with more focus on the Puritans who came over on the ship Arabella rather than the pilgrims on the Mayflower. And for another view of the early colonists, there's Stephen Vincent Benet's history-poem Western Star.]
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