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Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647 Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 27, 1952
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About the Author
For the first time the printed text of Bradford’s history has been compared word for word with the original manuscript; for the first time the difficult abbreviations and contractions used by Bradford have been filled out and his archaic and variant spellings made uniform. This edition has a double value: it presents Governor Bradford’s text in readable form and it provides contemporary readers with a history of that text and its enduring significance by the historian clearly elect to interpret it.
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bradford is an engaging writer whose prose isn't hard to understand. In places his understatement about the death and hardship faced almost constantly is even amusing. Nothing of the kind of challenges that the Leyden pilgrims faced in Massachusetts will seem familiar to a modern reader. Just the same, the fact that it all happened is fascinating. One can almost imagine being there, looking over the decks of the Mayflower and facing all that December gray and wilderness and wondering what you were doing coming here. Told in first person it reads like an adventure as much as a history.
The pilgrims here are also quite human and not at all the diorama characters of a first graders Thanksgiving craft project. They face social challenges and the horrors of death and disease. Attacks by natives actually occured on occasion. The dream of a sort of providence is one that proves difficult in the real world. Bradford mourns the loss of these ideals and the people who imported them. There's something a little sad in his later passages, whether it be age or a truly lost paradise one never really knows. But what Bradford imagined as a sort of religious nirvana clearly doesn't pan out in the end. Nevertheless it is well worth the journey. I highly recommend a read of this American classic.
Bradford's writing style, while sometimes introspective and monotone, is in many instances the most eloquent of all early American authors, using very thoughtful and beautiful metaphors. To describe the success of the Plymouth Colony after about 20 years, he wrote "Thus out of small beginnings greather things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation".
Bradford describes those small beginnings in his book, from the Pilgrims troubles in England to their departure and life in Holland. After twelve years in Holland, the Pilgrims made a teary departure from their friends to come on the Mayflower to America. As they are about to board the ship that will take them to England and on to America, Bradford in a sentimental outpouring writes "they went aboard and their friends with them, where truely doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to see what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound . . . But the tide, which stays for no man, calling them away that were thus loath to depart, their reverend pastor falling down on his knees with watery cheeks commended them . . . And then with mutual embrases and many tears they took their leave one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.Read more ›
Previous reviewers seem to have approached the book with differring expectations. If you want to read about John and Priscilla, go to Longfellow, and if you want to read about Constance of the Mayflower, then you won't find her here (except in the records for the 1623 land division, maybe) - and indeed few of the myths of the Pilgrim Story can be found in Bradford's history. This might dissappoint some people who like to paint their history with honest toil and romance, Plymouth Rocks and Thanksgivings, but to a more attentive reader, Bradford has delights enough to keep anybody satisfied. His style is at times cumbersome, and the language of the 1640s(ish) can often obscure the already confusing legal language of some of the letters and contracts in the book. The language and style, though, are part of the book's character. Bradford's reticence in always referring to himself as either "The Governor" or "Governor Bradford" is not only quaint but also instructive, and to dismiss is as tedious is not to give it its due attention.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book, get it, read it, enjoy it, good religious book, good economics book, good story about people.Published 4 months ago by justin mckinney
Good insight for those who need more understanding of the pros and cons of socialist versus capirtalist societies. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rich
Cannot even read the text. The words are all jumbled and computer generated from an old primary edition. Do not recommend this ebook if you actually want to read it. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alexandrea
Very good book of our country's history and the personal experience of William Bradford, who was also the grandfather of my mother's great great grandmother.Published 12 months ago by Douglas J Banks
Nice volume, rec'd promptly, just as described; highly recommend this seller! A+++++++++Published 12 months ago by bookworm
I fin this unreadable. Maybe because I got the kindle editionPublished 13 months ago by Corvette lover