New World Settlers and the Call of Home

By Susan Hardman Moore
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300117189, 336pp.)

Publication Date: November 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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This book uncovers what might seem to be a dark side of the American dream: the New World from the viewpoint of those who decided not to stay. At the core of the volume are the life histories of people who left New England during the British Civil Wars and Interregnum, 1640–1660. More than a third of the ministers who had stirred up emigration from England deserted their flocks to return home. The colonists’ stories challenge our perceptions of early settlement and the religious ideal of New England as a "City on a Hill." America was a stage in their journey, not an end in itself.

Susan Hardman Moore first explores the motives for migration to New England in the 1630s and the rhetoric that surrounded it. Then, drawing on extensive original research into the lives of hundreds of migrants, she outlines the complex reasons that spurred many to brave the Atlantic again, homeward bound. Her book ends with the fortunes of colonists back home and looks at the impact of their American experience.

Of exceptional value to studies of the connections between the Old and New Worlds, Pilgrims contributes to debates about the nature of the New England experiment and its significance for the tumults of revolutionary England.

About the Author

Susan Hardman Moore is director of post-graduate studies at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

Praise For Pilgrims

"Readers will find this work is ''spot on.'' Recounting wonderful stories, its elegant writing and prodigious research make it a worthwhile addition to the literature on mid-seventeenth-century England and New England."—Carla Gardina Pestana, American Historical Review
-Carla Gardina Pestana

"The scholarship of this study is dazzling, and the dazzle throws considerable light on to the tangle of the Anglo-American relationship in its very first years." — Literary Review
-Raymond Seitz

"A rich and fascinating book of great importance for the history of 17th-century England, as well as for colonial America." — The Daily Telegraph

"Dr Hardman Moore tells a little-known, myth-troubling story, in a very readable and long-awaited book of impressive but accessible scholarship." — Church Times
-Judith Maltby

"Pilgrims is a highly readable account of the religious motivations propelling both elite and non-elite colonists to and from New England."—M. Michelle Morris, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture
-M. Michelle Morris

"Certainly no other study is as comprehensive, and none has engaged so empathetically with the push and pull factors that shaped the experience. . . . This is a valuable study, which is empathetic and insightful. Its focus on individual narratives privileges, inevitably, literate and ecclesiastic accounts. . . . This study enriches our understanding of the processes of early migration to New England, and the mindset of those who participated in it."—Paul A. Townend, The Historian
-Paul A. Townend

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