WILLIAM PHIPS AND THE TREASURE SHIP by Harold W. Felton

WILLIAM PHIPS AND THE TREASURE SHIP

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The author's note says that ""the story of William Phips has a fictional or a legendary quality. But it is not fiction, nor is it legend,"" yet at the same time it is explained that this story of William Phips has fictionalized characters, incidents, and dialogue. It is stated without qualification that ""the story of William Phips is the first American success story,"" and the book is confined to his signal good fortune in rescuing a great deal of sunken treasure in the Bahamas. The narrative stops, however, before his later military and political career which was marred by his leadership of a disastrous attack on Quebec, and by his poor administration during his governorship of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His drawn out attempts to receive sponsorship for the project, and much of the dramatized text shows Phips honorably and almost singlehandedly holding his own against a piracy- inclined crew, but even the action scenes are hindered by the abbreviated writing style (""...Phips said to still others...'Go and help try to hold the Indians back. Go across the river. Get word to our men to retreat toward the ship. Go to the north. Up the neck...'"") The only source mentioned is the biography by Cotton Mather, who was politically biased in Phips' favor. Clifford Alderman's Stormy Knight (1964, p. 906, J-292), although also somewhat fictionalized, is much better done, and based on careful research.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1965
Publisher: Dodd, Mead