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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$8.65
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: An ex library book in good condition with some light shelving wear. Pages are crisp and clean. Ships direct from Amazon to you worldwide. Thanks!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare'sThe Tempest Hardcover – July 9, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$6.94 $0.01
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

" At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative."
-Nathaniel Philbrick

"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.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • 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: #1,106,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Gunther on January 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1609 the English ship "Sea Venture," flagship of a relief fleet for the Jamestown colony in Virginia, was caught in a violent hurricane and wrecked on the Bermuda coast, miraculously with no loss of life. Much to the voyagers' surprise, the ill-reputed island provided them a comfortable existence, with abundant wood, water, fish, and food for almost a year; eventually they built two new ships and completed the voyage to Jamestown.

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.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I found this to be a fascinating book. Living, as I do, less than an hour away from Jamestown VA it was an interesting tale, indeed.

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 ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By JP on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very exciting, and wonderfully written about a most important beginning of "The New World", and marvelous coincidences with Shakespeare, and other areas (i.e. Bermuda, ingenuity, forming laws and governments, etc.). It was especially intriguing to me because two of the settlers on the "Seaventure" are my ancestors (cousins to each other). Jamestown, Va., 1609, provides the goal for the "Seaventure".
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the beginning of the book that discussed the castaways time on Bermuda and their adventures once they got to Jamestown, but the chapters that discussed the references to "The Tempest" were mighty boring. Just a few references would have done the trick, but the author seems to compare every line of the play and how it how it could have been taken from Strachey writings.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My compliments to the author, Hobson Woodward. This is the most readable book I have encountered in its recounting of the terrifying ordeal these settlers experienced, in their attempt to reach Jamestown. He offers a vivid account of their struggle. First, as they fought to save their ship, the Sea Venture, from sinking in a roiling, four-day hurricane, which they encountered during their voyage from England to Jamestown. Then, carrying 153 souls, and separated in the storm from its fleet of nine vessels, this small flagship was left on her own to shipwreck on the uninhabited island of Bermuda. The author demonstrates great respect and sympathy for William Strachey. Strachey, a writer of failing fortunes, and a Sea Voyage passenger, was later appointed Secretary of the Colony in Jamestown. It was his written account of the hurricane, the shipwreck, and the subsequent nine month survival of the castaways on the island, that laid the foundation for the book, A Brave Vessel. It is said Shakespeare "borrowed" from Strachey's same account in his writing of The Tempest. It is easy to see how such an incredible story can lend itself so easily to flourish and fiction, but to the author's integrity, Hobson Woodward remained true to the settlers experiences, and true to Strachey's words. How anyone can read this book, and not be moved by the sheer tenacity, and fearlessness of the flesh and blood that settled the New World, is beyond me. I have bought two copies of A Brave Vessel, to be gifted to each of my grandsons when they are older, and better able to understand the truly amazing history of their ggggg-grandfather, William Strachey!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews