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A brave vessel : the true tale of the castaways who rescued Jamestown and inspir
Woodward, Hobson
Adult Nonfiction F234.J3 W65 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this well-written and expertly paced work of popular scholarship, Woodward, an associate editor of the Adams papers, tells the story of William Strachey, an aspiring poet whose chronicle of a disastrous sea voyage and its aftermath had a profound influence on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Strachey is a fine figure for historical resurrection-he was good friends with John Donne and a passenger on pioneering journeys to the New World, which eventually brought him, aboard the Sea Venture, to Bermuda and the infant Jamestown colony in Virginia. Woodward draws heavily on Strachey's written narrative, often to marvelous effect. This is particularly true of the dramatic storm scenes, in which the entire crew of the Sea Venture nearly perished. Through Strachey, Woodward tells of the conflicts that divided the crew after making landfall in Bermuda and the hardships of replenishing a starving Jamestown's supplies. The heart of the book is Woodward's recreation of Strachey's viewing of The Tempest, which affords the author the opportunity to catalogue the narrative and linguistic parallels between the Sea Venture's travails and the play-fascinating fodder for the committed Shakespearean source hunter. Maps. (July 13) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The 1609 wreck of the Sea Venture, bound for Jamestown, is a well-known tale of disappointment and triumph, considered by many scholars to be the source of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Blown off course by a hurricane, the ship managed a fortuitous landing on the island of Bermuda. Using the account kept by William Strachey, a gentleman of letters with pretentions of being a poet, Woodward tells of challenges met by the accidental islanders, who mustered every scrap of resourcefulness to create a rudimentary civilization on a deserted island paradise and finally to press on to their original destination. Woodward devotes the second half of his book to a detailed explication of the parallels between Shakespeare's The Tempest and the trials of the Sea Venture. His imagined scenes of Strachey watching Shakespeare's play serve to make him a pitiable figure, craving success yet knowing that his efforts have only bolstered the career of another. Verdict Although the Sea Venture's link to The Tempest has been previously explored, Woodward deepens our understanding while extracting a vivid and all-too-human drama from 17th-century texts. Anyone interested in either early America or Shakespeare will want.-Michael F. Russo, Louisiana State Univ. Libs., Baton Rouge (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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