Modern history

Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World

Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World

At the end of 1618, a blazing green star soared across the night sky over the northern hemisphere. From the Philippines to the Arctic, the comet became a sensation and a symbol, a warning of doom or a promise of salvation. Two years later, as the Pilgrims prepared to sail across the Atlantic on board the Mayflower, the atmosphere remained charged with fear and expectation. Men and women readied themselves for war, pestilence, or divine retribution. Against this background, and amid deep economic depression, the Pilgrims conceived their enterprise of exile.

Within a decade, despite crisis and catastrophe, they built a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on beaver fur, corn, and cattle. In doing so, they laid the foundations for Massachusetts, New England, and a new nation. Using a wealth of new evidence from landscape, archaeology, and hundreds of overlooked or neglected documents, Nick Bunker gives a vivid and strikingly original account of the Mayflower project and the first decade of the Plymouth Colony. From mercantile London and the rural England of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I to the mountains and rivers of Maine, he weaves a rich narrative that combines religion, politics, money, science, and the sea.

Prelude: THE BEAVER OF MAWOOSHEN

Part One: THE HEAVENS AND THE SEA

Chapter 1. THE YEAR OF THE BLAZING STAR

Chapter 2. MR. JONES IN PLYMOUTH SOUND

Chapter 3. CROSSING SINAI

Part Two: ORIGINS

Chapter 4. TROUBLECHURCH BROWNE

Chapter 5. MEN AND WOMEN OF THE CLAY

Chapter 6. THE MAKING OF A PILGRIM

Part Three: SEPARATION

Chapter 7. THE ENTRAILS OF THE KING

Chapter 8. DISOBEDIENCE AND CONTEMPT

Chapter 9. STALLINGBOROUGH FLATS

Part Four: THE PROJECT

Chapter 10. THE TOMB OF THE APOSTLE

Chapter 11. WHY THE PILGRIMS SAILED

Chapter 12. THE BEAVER, THE COSSACK, AND PRINCE CHARLES

Chapter 13. IN THE ARTILLERY GARDEN

Part Five: AMERICA

Chapter 14. COMFORT AND REFRESHING

Chapter 15. THE MYSTIC AND THE THAMES

Chapter 16. DIABOLICAL AFFECTION

Chapter 17. IF ROCHELLE BE LOST

Part Six: THE WAYS OF SALVATION

Chapter 18. THE PROPHECY OF MICAIAH

Chapter 19. THE FIRST BOSTONIANS

Chapter 20. THE EXPLODING COLONY

Epilogue: THE LAST SHAMAN

Notes

Further Reading