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Cast in fictional form, here is the story of the Mayflower, authentic as to persons and the fairly detailed factual background, and authentic too in the mood and tempo of the story. I found it absorbingly interesting, even to those parts of the record that are familiar....John Alden, carpenter, engaged to look out for the casks and barrels, is the central figure, while Gilbert Winslow, younger brother of Edward, who was one of the leaders, plays an important secondary part, with Priscilla, prime daughter of the dour Mr. Mullins, and Dorothy, the timid and rather sad young wife of William Bradford, as the foils to their story. An amazing story this- in any century- of two tiny ships setting out to cross an unknown ocean, with passengers whose religious faith necessitated their leaving England, plus the dregs of London's streets, gathered up to fill the quota of settlers, and to save the overcrowded jails. The ""deal"" made with the promoter, to land the settlers outside the bounds of Virginia, is grudgingly conceded by the disagreeable captain -- and landfall made, presumably by accident, within the arm of the Cape. The story of the tedious weeks of the voyage, the conflicts of personalities crowded into too close proximity, the excitement- and the letdown -- when the land proved nothing but a sandy strip -- the fearful penetration into the unknown as a tiny group explored the miles, first on foot, then in the newly made shallop, until Plymouth harbor is located, and the Mayflower moved from her moorings -- and finally, the grim winter months of famine and disease and fearful imaginings of the non-encountered savages, makes for a holding story of the ""Plymouth Adventure"". A skillful blend of research and an imaginative sense of identification makes it an extraordinarily successful historical recreation.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1950
Publisher: Doubleday