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The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“A rip-snortin story of shipwreck, intrigue, horror, courage, risk, luck and will . . . gripping.”—Publishers Weekly

The English were latecomers to America, and their initial attempts to establish an overseas empire met with dismal failure. In 1609, another disaster set the final course of this dramatic history, when the Sea Venture, the ship dispatched by London investors to rescue the starving settlers at Jamestown, collided with a ferocious hurricane and was shipwrecked off the coast of Bermuda. This riveting historical narrative describes how the 150 castaways were seduced by the islands unexpected pleasures for almost a year and were later riven by mutinies when ordered to continue on to Virginia. Ultimately they built boats with their own hands and arrived safely in Jamestown to face the daunting task of rebuilding Americas first permanent colony.

Lorri Glover is the author of two books on the early South, including Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation. She is a professor of early American history at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Daniel Blake Smith is the author of Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in 18th Century Chesapeake Society and many articles on early American history. He is a professor of colonial American history at the University of Kentucky.

The English had long dreamed of colonizing America, especially after Sir Francis Drake brought home Spanish treasure and dramatic tales from his raids in the Caribbean. Ambitions of finding gold and planting a New World colony seemed within reach when in 1606 Thomas Smythe extended overseas trade with the launch of the Virginia Company. But from the beginning the American enterprise was a disaster. Within two years warfare with Indians and dissent among the settlers threatened to destroy Smythes Jamestown just as it had Raleighs Roanoke a generation earlier.

To rescue the doomed colonists and restore order, the company chose a new leader, Thomas Gates. Nine ships left Plymouth in the summer of 1609—the largest fleet England had ever assembled—and sailed into the teeth of a storm so violent that “it beat all light from Heaven.” The inspiration for Shakespeares The Tempest, the hurricane separated the flagship from the fleet, driving it onto reefs off the coast of Bermuda—a lucky shipwreck (all hands survived) which proved the turning point in the colonys fortune.

"In this gripping account of shipwreck, mutiny, perseverance, and deliverance, the epic story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and its consequences for the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful colony in the New World, is told for the first time. Glover and Smith persuasively make the case that in saving themselves, the 150 castaways stranded for nearly a year on the remote island of Bermuda ultimately saved English America."—James Horn, author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America

"The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, Glover and Smiths well-researched account of Englands rocky early beginnings in America, effectively pieces together a largely untold and essential story about how close the British came to failure in the New World. In the end, Glover and Smith argue, it was the fate of a seemingly lost ship that finally turned the tide . . . The authors, both history professors, argue convincingly that Spain could have easily attacked the English settlement at Jamestown after it was established in 1607: 'That Spain neither demanded an end to the Virginia Company . . . [nor] destroyed the settlement once it was founded arguably turned out to be the greatest' gift England could have received . . . This book paints a vivid portrait of lives packed with daily hardships, from dangerous transatlantic crossings to the realistic fear of being massacred by Indians."—Chuck Leddy, The Christian Science Monitor

"History professors Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith of the University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky, respectively, follow the fortunes of nine English ships that set sail to bolster Jamestown in 1609 with 600 'passengers, livestock, and provision . . . the largest [fleet] England had ever sent across the Atlantic' in The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America . . . Glover and Smith present a roster of intriguing adventurers—Newport, William Strachey, George Somers, Sir Thomas Gate—all more engaging than self-promoter John Smith, the Barnum of the Chesapeake. They also vividly describe the venture-capitalist nature of the Virginia Company, which ultimately failed, and the commercial environment of Jacobean London. Further, they explain England's rivalry with Spain in the New World and convincingly argue that a driving force among the English was their belief that Anglican Christianity was the true faith that must vanquish Catholic heresy. The facts that idyllic Bermuda remained unclaimed until Britons settled it, that no lives were lost in the Sea Venture shipwreck, and that its people went on to save Jamestown simply proved that 'God is English.' The nationality of the Creator notwithstanding, these events inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest, and these historians have written them into an exciting, instructive yarn."—Philip Kopper, American Heritage

"In this gripping account of shipwreck, mutiny, perseverance, and deliverance, the epic story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and its consequences for the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful colony in the New World, is told for the first time. Glover and Smith persuasively make the case that in saving themselves, the 150 castaways stranded for nearly a year on the remote island of Bermuda ultimately saved English America."—James Horn, author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America

"Making much adu with flush contemporary sources, Glover (Univ. of Tennessee at Nashville) and Smith (Univ. of Kentucky) weave a fascinating narrative. The centerpiece is the famous running aground of the hurricane-driven Sea Venture, the flagship of a small fleet carrying immigrants to Virginia, on a coral reef off Bermuda in July 1609 . . . In a book as comprehensive as this one, distractions pertaining to British life and empire building are not bothersome. This splendid achievement is the best of recently published histories of early Jamestown. Summing up: Highly recommended. All American history collections, all levels."—H. M. Ward, emeritus, University of Richmond, Choice magazine

"Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith offer a look at The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, which, of course, is the Sea Venture. The ship, on its way to Jamestown with food for the faltering colony, was hit by a storm that destroyed the ship but left all 150 passengers alive on the island of Bermuda. What happened next is a tale worth knowing, although few Americans do. Divided among those who wanted to stay in Bermuda and those who felt responsible to continue on, the group began to suffer from mutinies and constant conflict. The sense of duty that compelled some of them to leave and how they arrived just in time to save Jamestown are at the heart of this book."—Kevin Walker, The Tampa Tribune 

"Combining rare narrative skills and historical detail, historians Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith have written a fascinating book about a subject of crucial importance for understanding early America. The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown is a welcome contribution to the large body of literature about Jamestown, Va., published before and after the 400th anniversary of its founding last year. Glover and Smith deftly chronicle the fate of the 150 passengers on board the Sea Venture, the lead vessel in a convoy of nine ships that set sail from Plymouth, England, in the early summer of 1609. As the authors note, 'the fleet was the largest England had ever sent across the Atlantic—an audacious effort born out of the desperate desire to save the dying Colony huddled around Jamestown.' Particularly engaging is the authors analysis of the broadsides and essays that advertised the venture, sponsored by the Virginia Company. Unlike previous settlement ventures, the Virginia Company leaders in 1609 used 'the power of faith to motivate investors. Promoters depicted Englands presence in America as the will of God; their propaganda highlighted the providential design of colonizing Virginia and the obligation to spread the Christian faith among native peoples.' The true desperate intent of the voyage wasnt mentioned . . . This is indeed an engrossing narrative that contributes a great deal to the historical literature. The book reads much like a novel because of Glover and Smiths ability to anchor their story in the lives of their central characters."—Erik Chaput, The Providence Journal

"An important story, told with verve and skill."—Richmond Times-Dispatch

"The adventures that Glover and Blake Smith describe are as gripping as those to be found in a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott or a thriller by Alan Furst."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"An energetic examination of the maritime disaster that, surprisingly, cemented England's claim to a colonial empire in the Americas. In the early 1600s, with its plantation at Jamestown fractious and failing, the Virginia Company went all in, adopting a new charter to strengthen the colonial government, adding dozens of prominent names to the company council, raising additional funds and recruiting more colonists. In 1609, a hurricane wrecked the Sea Venture, sent by London investors to rescue the settlers, on a Bermuda reef. Previously, mariners had avoided the 'Isle of Devils,' but the Virginia colonists discovered a paradise teeming with natural resources sufficient to refresh them and sustain a continuation of the mission to relieve Jamestown. Two boats built of the Sea Venture's remains anchored at Cape Henry one year to the day after the expedition's departure from Plymouth, England. The Sea Venture may not have actually 'saved' Jamestown—Lord De La Warr's later arrival with three supply ships deserves that distinction—but the news of her ordeal and triumph electrified England, excited new interest in the potential of Bermuda and firmly persuaded the nation that God's hand guided the country's stake in Virginia and its fight against Spanish dominion in the New World . . .  This treatment stands out for its artful placement and discussion of the episode between Jamestown's suffering and squabbling and the Virginia Company's desperate maneuvering to keep the colonial enterprise from completely foundering. Moreover, Glover and Smith use this tale of shipwreck and survival to convey the larger spirit of the age, a brew of enterprise, greed, godliness, hucksterism and self-advancement. A thrilling adventure story gracefully told."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

"It's a rip-snortin' story of shipwreck, intrigue, horror, courage, risk, luck and will, and the authors milk it for all it's worth . . . letting the story unfold in all its inherent complexity, tragedy and suspense. Glover and Smith focus on the tale's human elements and its often harrowing, sometimes inspirational events with appropriate verve."—Publishers Weekly

Book News Annotation:

In June 1609, a nine-ship flotilla sailed from England with settlers, livestock, and provisions to relieve the abandoned colony of Jamestown. Historians Glover (U. of Tennessee-Knoxville) and Smith (U. of Kentucky) tell how the flotilla was hit by a hurricane, the flagship Sea Venture was wrecked, and 150 castaways washed up the coast of Bermuda. Blooming where they were planted, many decided to seek their fortune in the balmy Caribbean and let the North Americans find their own way out of their dank Virginia swamp. Finally and under duress, boats were built and the relief force arrived. The 2008 edition is cloth bound. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A rip-snortin' story of shipwreck, intrigue, horror, courage, risk, luck and will . . . gripping.--Publishers Weekly

The English were latecomers to America, and their initial attempts to establish an overseas empire met with dismal failure. In 1609, another disaster set the final course of this dramatic history, when the Sea Venture, the ship dispatched by London investors to rescue the starving settlers at Jamestown, collided with a ferocious hurricane and was shipwrecked off the coast of Bermuda. This riveting historical narrative describes how the 150 castaways were seduced by the island's unexpected pleasures for almost a year and were later riven by mutinies when ordered to continue on to Virginia. Ultimately they built boats with their own hands and arrived safely in Jamestown to face the daunting task of rebuilding America's first permanent colony.

Lorri Glover is the author of two books on the early South, including Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation. She is a professor of early American history at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Daniel Blake Smith is the author of Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in 18th Century Chesapeake Society and many articles on early American history. He is a professor of colonial American history at the University of Kentucky.

The English had long dreamed of colonizing America, especially after Sir Francis Drake brought home Spanish treasure and dramatic tales from his raids in the Caribbean. Ambitions of finding gold and planting a New World colony seemed within reach when in 1606 Thomas Smythe extended overseas trade with the launch of the Virginia Company. But from the beginning the American enterprise was a disaster. Within two years warfare with Indians and dissent among the settlers threatened to destroy Smythe's Jamestown just as it had Raleigh's Roanoke a generation earlier.

To rescue the doomed colonists and restore order, the company chose a new leader, Thomas Gates. Nine ships left Plymouth in the summer of 1609--the largest fleet England had ever assembled--and sailed into the teeth of a storm so violent that it beat all light from Heaven. The inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest, the hurricane separated the flagship from the fleet, driving it onto reefs off the coast of Bermuda--a lucky shipwreck (all hands survived) which proved the turning point in the colony's fortune. In this gripping account of shipwreck, mutiny, perseverance, and deliverance, the epic story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and its consequences for the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful colony in the New World, is told for the first time. Glover and Smith persuasively make the case that in saving themselves, the 150 castaways stranded for nearly a year on the remote island of Bermuda ultimately saved English America.--James Horn, author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, Glover and Smith's well-researched account of England's rocky early beginnings in America, effectively pieces together a largely untold and essential story about how close the British came to failure in the New World. In the end, Glover and Smith argue, it was the fate of a seemingly lost ship that finally turned the tide . . . The authors, both history professors, argue convincingly that Spain could have easily attacked the English settlement at Jamestown after it was established in 1607: 'That Spain neither demanded an end to the Virginia Company . . . nor] destroyed the settlement once it was founded arguably turned out to be the greatest' gift England could have received . . . This book paints a vivid portrait of lives packed with daily hardships, from dangerous transatlantic crossings to the realistic fear of being massacred by Indians.--Chuck Leddy, The Christian Science Monitor

History professors Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith of the University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky, respectively, follow the fortunes of nine English ships that set sail to bolster Jamestown in 1609 with 600 'passengers, livestock, and provision . . . the largest fleet] England had ever sent across the Atlantic' in The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America . . . Glover and Smith present a roster of intriguing adventurers--Newport, William Strachey, George Somers, Sir Thomas Gate--all more engaging than self-promoter John Smith, the Barnum of the Chesapeake. They also vividly describe the venture-capitalist nature of the Virginia Company, which ultimately failed, and the commercial environment of Jacobean London. Further, they explain England's rivalry with Spain in the New World and convincingly argue that a driving force among the English was their belief that Anglican Christianity was the true faith that must vanquish Catholic heresy. The facts that idyllic Bermuda remained unclaimed until Britons settled it, that no lives were lost in the Sea Venture shipwreck, and that its people went on to save Jamestown simply proved that 'God is English.' The nationality of the Creator notwithstanding, these events inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest, and these historians have written them into an exciting, instructive yarn.--Philip Kopper, American Heritage

In this gripping account of shipwreck, mutiny, perseverance, and deliverance, the epic story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and its consequences for the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful colony in the New World, is told for the first time. Glover and Smith persuasively make the case that in saving themselves, the 150 castaways stranded for nearly a year on the remote island of Bermuda ultimately saved English America.--James Horn, author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America

Making much adu with flush contemporary sources, Glover (Univ. of Tennessee at Nashville) and Smith (Univ. of Kentucky) w

Synopsis:

“A rip-snortin story of shipwreck, intrigue, horror, courage, risk, luck and will . . . gripping.”—Publishers Weekly

The English were latecomers to America, and their initial attempts to establish an overseas empire met with dismal failure. In 1609, another disaster set the final course of this dramatic history, when the Sea Venture, the ship dispatched by London investors to rescue the starving settlers at Jamestown, collided with a ferocious hurricane and was shipwrecked off the coast of Bermuda. This riveting historical narrative describes how the 150 castaways were seduced by the islands unexpected pleasures for almost a year and were later riven by mutinies when ordered to continue on to Virginia. Ultimately they built boats with their own hands and arrived safely in Jamestown to face the daunting task of rebuilding Americas first permanent colony.

About the Author

Lorri Glover is the author of two books on the early South, including Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation. She is a professor of early American history at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Daniel Blake Smith is the author of An American Betrayal, The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in Eighteenth Century Chesapeake Society, and many articles on early American history. Formerly a professor of colonial American history at the University of Kentucky, Smith now lives in St. Louis where he works as a screenwriter and filmmaker.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805090253
Publisher:
Holt McDougal
Subject:
United States / Colonial Period(1600-1775)
Author:
Smith, Daniel Blake
Author:
Glover, Lorri
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
Caribbean & West Indies - General
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
US History-Colonial America
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15-18 pp. b and w photos; 3-5 maps
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.07 x 5.24 x 0.885 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » World History » Caribbean
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America
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Product details 336 pages Holt McDougal - English 9780805090253 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A rip-snortin' story of shipwreck, intrigue, horror, courage, risk, luck and will . . . gripping.--Publishers Weekly

The English were latecomers to America, and their initial attempts to establish an overseas empire met with dismal failure. In 1609, another disaster set the final course of this dramatic history, when the Sea Venture, the ship dispatched by London investors to rescue the starving settlers at Jamestown, collided with a ferocious hurricane and was shipwrecked off the coast of Bermuda. This riveting historical narrative describes how the 150 castaways were seduced by the island's unexpected pleasures for almost a year and were later riven by mutinies when ordered to continue on to Virginia. Ultimately they built boats with their own hands and arrived safely in Jamestown to face the daunting task of rebuilding America's first permanent colony.

Lorri Glover is the author of two books on the early South, including Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation. She is a professor of early American history at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Daniel Blake Smith is the author of Inside the Great House: Planter Family Life in 18th Century Chesapeake Society and many articles on early American history. He is a professor of colonial American history at the University of Kentucky.

The English had long dreamed of colonizing America, especially after Sir Francis Drake brought home Spanish treasure and dramatic tales from his raids in the Caribbean. Ambitions of finding gold and planting a New World colony seemed within reach when in 1606 Thomas Smythe extended overseas trade with the launch of the Virginia Company. But from the beginning the American enterprise was a disaster. Within two years warfare with Indians and dissent among the settlers threatened to destroy Smythe's Jamestown just as it had Raleigh's Roanoke a generation earlier.

To rescue the doomed colonists and restore order, the company chose a new leader, Thomas Gates. Nine ships left Plymouth in the summer of 1609--the largest fleet England had ever assembled--and sailed into the teeth of a storm so violent that it beat all light from Heaven. The inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest, the hurricane separated the flagship from the fleet, driving it onto reefs off the coast of Bermuda--a lucky shipwreck (all hands survived) which proved the turning point in the colony's fortune. In this gripping account of shipwreck, mutiny, perseverance, and deliverance, the epic story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and its consequences for the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful colony in the New World, is told for the first time. Glover and Smith persuasively make the case that in saving themselves, the 150 castaways stranded for nearly a year on the remote island of Bermuda ultimately saved English America.--James Horn, author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, Glover and Smith's well-researched account of England's rocky early beginnings in America, effectively pieces together a largely untold and essential story about how close the British came to failure in the New World. In the end, Glover and Smith argue, it was the fate of a seemingly lost ship that finally turned the tide . . . The authors, both history professors, argue convincingly that Spain could have easily attacked the English settlement at Jamestown after it was established in 1607: 'That Spain neither demanded an end to the Virginia Company . . . nor] destroyed the settlement once it was founded arguably turned out to be the greatest' gift England could have received . . . This book paints a vivid portrait of lives packed with daily hardships, from dangerous transatlantic crossings to the realistic fear of being massacred by Indians.--Chuck Leddy, The Christian Science Monitor

History professors Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith of the University of Tennessee and University of Kentucky, respectively, follow the fortunes of nine English ships that set sail to bolster Jamestown in 1609 with 600 'passengers, livestock, and provision . . . the largest fleet] England had ever sent across the Atlantic' in The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America . . . Glover and Smith present a roster of intriguing adventurers--Newport, William Strachey, George Somers, Sir Thomas Gate--all more engaging than self-promoter John Smith, the Barnum of the Chesapeake. They also vividly describe the venture-capitalist nature of the Virginia Company, which ultimately failed, and the commercial environment of Jacobean London. Further, they explain England's rivalry with Spain in the New World and convincingly argue that a driving force among the English was their belief that Anglican Christianity was the true faith that must vanquish Catholic heresy. The facts that idyllic Bermuda remained unclaimed until Britons settled it, that no lives were lost in the Sea Venture shipwreck, and that its people went on to save Jamestown simply proved that 'God is English.' The nationality of the Creator notwithstanding, these events inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest, and these historians have written them into an exciting, instructive yarn.--Philip Kopper, American Heritage

In this gripping account of shipwreck, mutiny, perseverance, and deliverance, the epic story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and its consequences for the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful colony in the New World, is told for the first time. Glover and Smith persuasively make the case that in saving themselves, the 150 castaways stranded for nearly a year on the remote island of Bermuda ultimately saved English America.--James Horn, author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America

Making much adu with flush contemporary sources, Glover (Univ. of Tennessee at Nashville) and Smith (Univ. of Kentucky) w

"Synopsis" by , “A rip-snortin story of shipwreck, intrigue, horror, courage, risk, luck and will . . . gripping.”—Publishers Weekly

The English were latecomers to America, and their initial attempts to establish an overseas empire met with dismal failure. In 1609, another disaster set the final course of this dramatic history, when the Sea Venture, the ship dispatched by London investors to rescue the starving settlers at Jamestown, collided with a ferocious hurricane and was shipwrecked off the coast of Bermuda. This riveting historical narrative describes how the 150 castaways were seduced by the islands unexpected pleasures for almost a year and were later riven by mutinies when ordered to continue on to Virginia. Ultimately they built boats with their own hands and arrived safely in Jamestown to face the daunting task of rebuilding Americas first permanent colony.

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