Thursday, June 14, 2007


I finished Mayflower yesterday on the way home from work. Thank God for public transportation. Nathaniel Philbrick, the author, made a point of discussing the difference between myth and reality when it comes to the Pilgrims. We grow up thinking they were oppressed by their country, misunderstood because they desired a return to "purer" spirituality, and that they were simply handed the plantation of Plymouth. How wrong we are, to an extent at least.

The original Pilgrims maintained a level of understanding that their children and grandchildren forgot. It was sad to read how inferior their understanding of the lives of the Indians was. If you really want to understand what the Pilgrims were truly like, read this book. It was quite interesting.

Friday, June 8, 2007


I decided to read this book because my beloved grandmother, who passed away two years ago, is a direct descendant of John and Priscilla Alden, who are often major players in retellings of the Mayflower story. I'm only halfway through the book, but I have already learned that Priscilla did not come over on the original voyage, but was part of a later arrival of Pilgrims who bolstered the population after more than half the original travelers had perished from the elements. Philbrick's writing style is much more accessible than most non-fiction writers. He tells his story as though he's giving it through oral tradition, which seems appropriate given the era he's writing about.

So far, I have enjoyed it immensely, and it has been hard to put down. I want to know what happens to the Pilgrims, especially now that in, at this point in the narrative, the Pilgrims are on the brink of war with the Natives.