The Mayflower Pilgrims
Sifting Fact from Fable
'Compelling reading' - Alison Weir
'A fresh and admirably unsentimental account' - Peter Marshall
The voyage of the 'Pilgrim Fathers' from Plymouth, England, and their settlement in Plymouth, New England, is iconic. Unfortunately.
Why unfortunately? Because icons both simplify and glamorise. The Mayflower story is a gilded myth, a historical episode seen through the distorting lens of national pride. Of all the accounts of New World colonisation in the 16th and 17th centuries this is the one that has come to typify those qualities today's US citizens most admire and believe their nation stands for. And yet the courageous men, women and children who made that journey in the autumn of 1620 would not have recognised themselves in the heroes and heroines portrayed in films and romantic novels over the last century or so.
Derek Wilson strips away the over-painting from the icon in order to discover the complex and often competing range of religious, political and commercial concerns that led this group of hopeful but fallible human beings to seek a new life on the other side of the world.