Emigrants: Why the English Sailed to the New World (Hardback)James Evans (author)
A significant number went for religious reasons, either on the Mayflower or as part of the mass migration to New England; some sought their fortunes in gold, fish or fur; some went to farm tobacco in Virginia, a booming trade which would enmesh Europe in a new addiction.
Some went because they were loyal to the deposed Stuart king, while others yearned for an entirely new ambition - the freedom to think as they chose. Then there were the desperate: starving and impoverished people who went because things had not worked out in the Old World and there was little to lose from trying again in the New.
Emigrants casts light on this unprecedented population shift - a phenomenon that underpins the rise of modern America. Using contemporary sources including diaries, court hearings and letters, James Evans brings to light the extraordinary personal stories of the men and women who made the journey of a lifetime.
'...brisk, informative and… eye-opening, too… Emigrants is a fascinating book that gives real insight into the age that birthed the modern West." - The Daily Telegraph
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 246 x 172 x 31 mm
Otto von Bismarck was once asked to identify the pre-eminent fact in modern world history. That America spoke English, he replied. In Emigrants, James Evans attempts to explain how and why that happened ... Evans' book is an eloquent testimony to the fact that the commodity America has always traded in, above all others, is hope -- Mathew Lyons * FINANCIAL TIMES *
What led a person in 17th-century England to get on a ship bound for the Americas? James Evans attempts to answer that question by exploring both the push and pull factors involved ... His descriptions are vivid ... and he relates in a readable style the lives of people who chose to make the journey -- Katrina Gulliver * THE SPECTATOR *
Engaging ... Evans is vivid on the risks of going to a land that, for a good portion of the century, had little to recommend it ... Brisk, informative and ... eye-opening ... A fascinating book that gives real insight into the age that birthed the modern West -- Tim Smith-Lang * DAILY TELEGRAPH *
A vivid and thoughtful take on the ways that the hopes and concerns of many, often ordinary, English people contributed to their burgeoning empire -- Misha Ewen * HISTORY TODAY *
With great vigour, Evans transports us back to this time of America's earliest immigrants. Many had already migrated across England, before landing in London and then heading off in search of a fresh start across the ocean. In this thought-provoking book, Evans uses contemporary sources, such as diaries, court records and letters, to cast vivid new light on a historic population shift, bringing to life the stories of English emigrants and their colonisation of the New World. All proving, perhaps, that mass migration is nothing new * FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE *
Why this book is such a gripping and enjoyable read is that Evans does not focus on the great and the good of history, but on the ordinary men, women, and children who migrated, with their hopes, fears, and desperation. Through primary sources of diaries, court hearings, and letters, Evans tells their stories, which sometimes inspire you with their heroism, and sometimes make you weep over their tragedies ... In a lucid, well-written, and solidly researched analysis, he teases out the mixed and complicated reasons that so many people were compelled to make the risky sea voyage to a perilous wilderness -- The Ven. Dr Lyle Dennen * CHURCH TIMES *
Emigrants is an intriguing idea for a book and one which James Evans has executed masterfully. His prose is highly readable, shedding light on just why so many people bravely sought to start a new life in a region which, as contemporaries admitted, was 'not yet perfectly discovered' -- Elizabeth Norton * WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE MAGAZINE *
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