Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


****Mayflower 1620

A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage

by Plimoth Plantation

with Peter Arenstam, John Kemp, and Catherine O’Neill Grace

Reviewed November 4, 2003.
Plimoth Plantation with Peter Arenstam, John Kemp, and Catherine O’Neill Grace.  Photographs by Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson.
National Geographic, Washington, DC, 2003.

Here’s a beautiful book in time for Thanksgiving.  Plimoth Plantation used trained role players to portray the 17th-century colonists who sailed on the original Mayflower.  They took a voyage on the reproduction ship Mayflower II to capture the photographs for this book.

The text discusses in detail what the voyage was like and what we know about the journey.  It turns out that the Mayflower Compact was a contract the people had to sign before they could go ashore.  Some people felt that their original contract with the English investors who had funded the voyage—in which the colonists agreed to work to pay off the investment—didn’t apply, since they landed further north than was originally planned.  The “Mayflower Compact” restated the terms of the contract to make sure those people wouldn’t cause trouble.

This is just one of the little-known details this book brings up.  It’s an interesting, informative and beautiful book.  Look for it in our Thanksgiving display case in November (You can check it out if you ask!), and in the nonfiction section afterwards.  It’s a wonderful companion to National Geographic and Plimouth Plantation’s earlier book:  1621:  A New Look at Thanksgiving.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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