The most important and influential source of information about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, this landmark account was written between 1630 and 1647. It vividly documents the Pilgrims' adventures: their first stop in Holland, the harrowing transatlantic crossing aboard the Mayflower, the first harsh winter in the new colony, and the help from friendly Native Americans that saved their lives. No one was better equipped to report on the affairs of the Plymouth community than William Bradford. Revered for his patience, wisdom, and courage, Bradford was elected to the office of governor in 1621, and he continued to serve in that position for more than three decades. His memoirs of the colony remained virtually unknown until the nineteenth century. Lost during the American Revolution, they were discovered years later in London and published after a protracted legal battle. The current edition rendered into modern English and with an introduction by Harold Paget, remains among the most readable books from seventeenth-century America.
This story is one that should be SO exciting and, man, can he put you to sleep. I was very disappointed. Nonetheless, it packs the history into its pages.
Those with only cursory knowledge of the Mayflower and its passengers may be surprised to learn there is a far greater story to be told than the (often complex) Indian relations and fanciful Thanksgiving celebration. A significant portion of the book concerns the settlers initial attempts to escape England to practice their separatist religious beliefs, first in Holland, and then later in America. More sobering (and some tedious) was the author's discussion of the settlers relations with the merchant investors back in England- a constant struggle for funding and supplies (by the settlers) and profits (by the investors).
Because of its age, and perhaps the author's style, this is not an easy read. Nonetheless, it is an invaluable work of early English settlement in America and should not missed.