Rebecca Fraser's book about the Mayflower sheds new light on a family caught up in all the perils of crossing the ocean and settling in the wilderness But the story did not end there All settlers had to become linguists traders and explorers and yet not forget their roots and customs from the old country With the aid of exciting contemporary documents Rebecca Fraser brings to life of an ordinary family the Winslows made less ordinary by their responses to the challenges of the New World The very special relationship between Edward Winslow and Massassoit chief of the Wampanoags is commemorated in the first Thanksgiving But fifty years later Edward's son Josiah was commander in chief of the New England militias against Massassoit's son in King Philip's WarWritten with the pace of an epic this is a story that is both national but intimate and human chronicling as the Winslows made the painful decisions that ensured their survival in America


10 thoughts on “The Mayflower Generation The Winslow Family and the Fight for the New World

  1. says:

    This book is not user friendly It begins with the title If you are interested in the Mayflower – you’ll have 30 pages tops If you are interested in the families – you better like the Winslow’s If you buy the book for the voyage – this is the shortest shrift of all Other readers have said they bought the book for the title andor the promise of genealogical information Some mention the disjointed text Some quit I’m with them on the title and the text but I stayed I liked the new topics the ones that don't make the title and the writing got better or maybe I got used to itThe author follows Edward Winslow from his life in England to his life among the Puritan ex pats in Holland to the founding and managing of Plymouth back to England and then death in the Caribbean You see how the Mayflower voyage was inspired and planned There is some detail on the two months at sea the landing and how they lived on the Mayflower while men left it by day to build houses ashore There is some information on the crew and “adventurers”who share the small boat with the Puritans At page 75 the 3 highlighted topics in the title end Author Rebecca Fraser then covers the relations with the native tribes and with England through its changing administrations There are money problems because the colonists owe the patent’s owner You see the tough life of subsistence agriculture and how pushing into Indian lands left the tribes with too little land for hunting While life is hard new settlers come and the colonies grow Some families can afford luxury items from England Sadly you see the second generation’s lack of respect for the good relations with Indians that their parents had built up over the years I had read of King Philip’s war but not about the “praying towns” and all that led up to it There is detail to show how long bloody and destructive it was Edward Winslow’s son Josiah a community leader like his father who died on foreign shores exemplifies the problems that led to war and to its prolongation Fraser draws a direct line from the misery and loss of the war to the witch hunts that followed The book ends with a new generation the wrangling over inheritances mostly of land which most likely really belongs to the Indians who have no access to the court roomThe research is very good as is the interpretation of people and events The publisher is generous with photos The text is a problem You often have to read back for antecedents The order in which sentences are placed in paragraphs is jarring and the author will name a person or subject for whom you thought you missed the story only to be introduced or not to them or it later on A human proofing would have picked up words like “buy” when “but” seems right I’d like to give this stars but with the misleading title and the problems with the text I can’t go higher