Albert Christopher Addison, The Romantic Story of the Mayflower Pilgrims And Its Place in the Life of Today (1911)

A beautifully illustrated work, Addison’s The Romantic Story of the Mayflower describes the ‘early trials, concerted plans of escape, and stormy emigration’ of the separatists. The work contains numerous original photographs, paintings, and engravings relating to the locations and narrative of the Mayflower pilgrims. A contemporary review in the Boston based Journal of Education praised the work’s presentation: ‘this volume is put together so that it is far more attractive than many of our holiday books, with its thick rough cut paper, bordered pages, excellent sepia illustrations’.

A work of popular, non-specialist history, Addison invites us to place ourselves next to the ‘Pilgrims’ as they stand on-board ship observing a ‘strange New World’, and imagine

with what wondering awe and mingled hopes and fears the Pilgrims looked out over the sea upon that strange New World, with its great stretch of wild, wooded coast and panorama of rock and dune and scrub, wintry bay and frowning headland, to which destiny and the worn white wings of the Mayflower together had brought them.

Addison’s narrative makes overt use of natural imagery, emotion, inspiration, and individual bravery, displaying its indebtedness to Romanticism in its prose as much as its title.

Full text: Albert Christopher Addison, The Romantic Story of the Mayflower Pilgrims And Its Place in the Life of Today, (1911)

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