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A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

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A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's "The Tempest" Cover

ISBN13: 9780670020966
ISBN10: 0670020966
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gripping tale of shipwreck and survival that changed the fate of the colonies and enriched our literary legacy

In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail aboard the Sea Venture, bound for the New World. Caught in a hurricane, the ship separated from its fleet and wrecked on uninhabited Bermuda, a bountiful island paradise its passengers would inhabit for nearly a year before reaching their intended destination, the famine-stricken colony of Jamestown. Strachey's meticulous account of the wreck, the castaways' time on Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown was read by his contemporaries and remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Following the life of this ordinary man, Hobson Woodward tells one of the neglected but defining stories of America's founding.

Strachey had literary aspirations and sought to capitalize on his epic experience, but his writings did not bring him the acclaim he sought. Only in the hands of another William would his tale of the wreck and its aftermath make history as The Tempest. A Brave Vessel is the fascinating account of a near-miss in the settling of Virginia, the true story behind one of Shakespeare's great plays, and the tragedy of the man who failed as an author but who contributed to the creation of a masterpiece.

Review:

"In this well-written and expertly paced work of popular scholarship, Woodward, an associate editor of the Adams papers, tells the story of William Strachey, an aspiring poet whose chronicle of a disastrous sea voyage and its aftermath had a profound influence on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Strachey is a fine figure for historical resurrection — he was good friends with John Donne and a passenger on pioneering journeys to the New World, which eventually brought him, aboard the Sea Venture, to Bermuda and the infant Jamestown colony in Virginia. Woodward draws heavily on Strachey's written narrative, often to marvelous effect. This is particularly true of the dramatic storm scenes, in which the entire crew of the Sea Venture nearly perished. Through Strachey, Woodward tells of the conflicts that divided the crew after making landfall in Bermuda and the hardships of replenishing a starving Jamestown's supplies. The heart of the book is Woodward's recreation of Strachey's viewing of The Tempest, which affords the author the opportunity to catalogue the narrative and linguistic parallels between the Sea Venture's travails and the play — fascinating fodder for the committed Shakespearean source hunter. Maps. (July 13)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

The fierce storm that leaves a small band of travelers stranded on a magical island in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" — the last of his great plays, probably written in 1610-11 — was considerably more than a product of the playwright's fertile imagination. Though scholars have squabbled over its exact source, there is general agreement that it is based on the hurricane that caused the wreck of the ship... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

A gripping tale of shipwreck and survival, "A Brave Vessel" is the fascinating account of a near-miss in the settling of Virginia, the true story behind Shakespeare's "The Tempest," and the tragedy of the man who failed as an author but who contributed to the creation of a masterpiece.

Synopsis:

A riveting historical narrative (Nathaniel Philbrick), "A Brave Vessel" tells the story of William Strachey, an aspiring poet whose chronicle of a disastrous sea voyage and its aftermath had a profound influence on Shakespeare's writing of "The Tempest."

Synopsis:

"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative." -Nathaniel Philbrick

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail for the New World aboard the Sea Venture, only to wreck on the shores of Bermuda. Strachey's meticulous account of the tragedy, the castaways' time in Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown, remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Though Strachey had literary aspirations, only in the hands of another William would his tale make history as The Tempest-a fascinating connection across time and literature that Hobson Woodward brings vividly to life.

About the Author

Hobson Woodward is associate editor of the Adam Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. He lives near Boston.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Thomas Hunter, December 8, 2009 (view all comments by Thomas Hunter)
Recent scholarship has blown the Strachey source to bits. Turns out Shakespeare and Strachey used the same 16th century sources. Shakespeare probably never saw Strachey. The Bermuda that is described in The Tempest is becalmed.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670020966
Subtitle:
The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown
Author:
Woodward, Hobson
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
General
Subject:
Shakespeare, William
Subject:
Virginia History.
Subject:
Caribbean & West Indies - General
Subject:
Ships & Shipbuilding - Shipwrecks
Subject:
United States / Colonial Period(1600-1775)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20100629
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-page b/w art insert on insert stock; b
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.00x6.10x1.10 in. 1.10 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Criticism
History and Social Science » Asia » General
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
Transportation » Nautical » Ships and Ship History
Transportation » Nautical » Shipwrecks

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's "The Tempest" Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Viking Books - English 9780670020966 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this well-written and expertly paced work of popular scholarship, Woodward, an associate editor of the Adams papers, tells the story of William Strachey, an aspiring poet whose chronicle of a disastrous sea voyage and its aftermath had a profound influence on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Strachey is a fine figure for historical resurrection — he was good friends with John Donne and a passenger on pioneering journeys to the New World, which eventually brought him, aboard the Sea Venture, to Bermuda and the infant Jamestown colony in Virginia. Woodward draws heavily on Strachey's written narrative, often to marvelous effect. This is particularly true of the dramatic storm scenes, in which the entire crew of the Sea Venture nearly perished. Through Strachey, Woodward tells of the conflicts that divided the crew after making landfall in Bermuda and the hardships of replenishing a starving Jamestown's supplies. The heart of the book is Woodward's recreation of Strachey's viewing of The Tempest, which affords the author the opportunity to catalogue the narrative and linguistic parallels between the Sea Venture's travails and the play — fascinating fodder for the committed Shakespearean source hunter. Maps. (July 13)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A gripping tale of shipwreck and survival, "A Brave Vessel" is the fascinating account of a near-miss in the settling of Virginia, the true story behind Shakespeare's "The Tempest," and the tragedy of the man who failed as an author but who contributed to the creation of a masterpiece.
"Synopsis" by , A riveting historical narrative (Nathaniel Philbrick), "A Brave Vessel" tells the story of William Strachey, an aspiring poet whose chronicle of a disastrous sea voyage and its aftermath had a profound influence on Shakespeare's writing of "The Tempest."
"Synopsis" by ,
"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative." -Nathaniel Philbrick

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail for the New World aboard the Sea Venture, only to wreck on the shores of Bermuda. Strachey's meticulous account of the tragedy, the castaways' time in Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown, remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Though Strachey had literary aspirations, only in the hands of another William would his tale make history as The Tempest-a fascinating connection across time and literature that Hobson Woodward brings vividly to life.

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