- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Viking Adult (July 9, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670020966
- ISBN-13: 978-0670020966
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare'sThe Tempest Hardcover – July 9, 2009
Books Inspired by Greenbuild 2016
Featured resources on green building, BIM, and sustainable design.Learn more.
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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
" At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative."
"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative, Hobson Woodward's A Brave Vessel reveals the salty survival tale at the heart of Shakespeare's New World masterpiece, The Tempest."
-Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower
"On the 400th anniversary of the Sea Venture's wreck on Bermuda, Hobson Woodward recounts the events and personalities of the voyage, the island refuge, and the early Jamestown Colony. He tells the story with accuracy and verve, and makes a compelling case for Shakespeare's indebtedness to William Strachey when writing The Tempest. Woodward's Brave Vessel is learned, lucid, and engrossing."
-Alden Vaughan, Professor emeritus of History at Columbia University and coeditor of the Arden edition of The Tempest
A Brave Vessel is a real-life story of heroism and human ambition as thrilling as any Hollywood fiction. Injecting popular history with a wealth of little-known detail, it traces a fascinating story of unlikely survival-and the impact a single, freak event in the mid-Atlantic had on the fortunes of America's birthplace and the world's greatest playwright. Woodward immerses us in the mindset of 17-century colonists and the immense challenges and tragedies of their endeavor. He entwines true events with their literary spin-offs, and in doing so, brings both to life.
-Rosemary Jones, author, Bermuda: Five Centuries --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This true story, widely thought to form the basis for Shakespeare's play "The Tempest," was retold by several authors in 2009, the 400th anniversary of the voyage, including well-received books by Glover & Smith, and Caleb Johnson. The book reviewed here, Hobson Woodward's "A Brave Vessel," focuses attention on William Strachey, the expedition's secretary, whose account of the voyage eventually made its way back to England, and probably came to Shakespeare's notice at that time. The majority of Woodward's book, though, is about the expedition itself, and related events in Jamestown; it is only the final chapter or two that compare Strachey's factual account to Shakespeare's imaginative play. These chapters are inspired by the research of other scholars, that Woodward has summarized into a popular and readable account. The book includes substantial endnotes and bibliography.
Woodward's straightforward writing, and the interest of the voyage both in real-life adventure and the literary gold that Shakespeare mined from it, make this book a pleasant addition to the story of Jamestown.
William Strachey's accounts of life in Jamestown are an invaluable source for all those, scholars and laymen alike, who want know what it was really like in the early days of Jamestown.
Shortly after reading this book I took my first trip to Bermuda and I must say the knowledge that Jamestown and Bermuda have an unexpected connection added to my enjoyment of the trip. The founding date of Hampton Virginia (my home town)is July 10, 1610 so I felt like the Bermudans and I were very distant cousins.
This shipwreck, that occurred in 1609, is considered the founding event for Bermuda and is a very important event indeed in the survival of Jamestown and the subsequent success of English America. For if the Sea Venture's passengers had not survived the shipwreck to arrive at Jamestown a year later, the history of Virginia, English America and the subsequent founding of the United States would be very different.
The fascinating "side story" to the shipwreck was that William Strachey's account of the shipwreck caused such a stir in England that the legendary William Shakespeare, having apparently read the account, was inspired to write what many scholars believe is his best work "The Tempest." William Strachey had used the term "tempest" to describe the severe storm (likely a hurricane) that caused the shipwreck. It should be noted that Plagiarism was not a concept in the writing field at that time, and writers freely used ideas from others.
William Strachey had been a slightly successful playwright before his trip on the Sea Venture as the official chronicler of the mission assigned to the Sea Venture's passengers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading about my ancestors, so anything that can make them live for me is enjoyable.Published 2 months ago by Huahine
Very solid, engaging read. A lot of "supposing" on the historian's part where Shakespeare was concerned, but otherwise enjoyable. History buffs won't be disappointed.Published 12 months ago by Emmie
Extremely well researched. Exhaustive melding of history, literature, and the impossible mission of the Jamestown settlers. Read morePublished 12 months ago by StellarMoon
An excellent updated comparison of Shakespeare's The Tempest and William Strachey's Reportory along the lines of Robert Ralston Cawley's 1926 paper, "Shakespeare's Use of the... Read morePublished on August 4, 2014 by BarryH. Wiley
I bought this book as background material for teaching Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and the colonial period in American literature. It didn't disappoint me. Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Daryl Wilkins