Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints
New release
Cover image of Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints
Share this Title:

Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints

An Atlantic History of Bermuda, 1609–1684

Michael J. Jarvis

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy

How can the small, isolated island of Bermuda help us to understand the early expansion of English America?

First discovered by Europeans in 1505, the island of Bermuda had no indigenous population and no permanent European presence until the early seventeenth century. Settled five years after Virginia and eight years before Plymouth, Bermuda is a foundational site of English colonization. Its history reveals strikingly different paths of potential colonial development as a place where slave-owning puritan tobacco planters raised large families, engaged overseas markets, built ships, created a…

How can the small, isolated island of Bermuda help us to understand the early expansion of English America?

First discovered by Europeans in 1505, the island of Bermuda had no indigenous population and no permanent European presence until the early seventeenth century. Settled five years after Virginia and eight years before Plymouth, Bermuda is a foundational site of English colonization. Its history reveals strikingly different paths of potential colonial development as a place where slave-owning puritan tobacco planters raised large families, engaged overseas markets, built ships, created a Christian commonwealth, hanged witches, wrestled to define racial difference, and welcomed godly pirates raiding Spanish America.

In Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints, Michael J. Jarvis presents readers with a new narrative social and cultural history of Bermuda. Adopting a holistic, multidisciplinary approach that draws upon thirty years of research and archaeological fieldwork, Jarvis recounts Bermuda's turbulent, dynamic past from the Sea Venture's dramatic 1609 shipwreck through the 1684 dissolution of the Bermuda Company. He argues that the island was the first of England's colonies to produce a successful staple, form a stable community, turn a profit, transplant civic institutions, and harness bound African knowledge and labor. Bermuda was a tabula rasa that fired the imaginations of English thinkers aspiring to create an American utopia. It was also England's first puritan colony, founded as a covenanted Christian commonwealth in 1612 by self-consciously religious settlers who committed themselves to building a moral society.

By the 1670s, Bermuda had become England's most densely populated possession and was poised to become an intercolonial maritime hub after freeing itself from its antiquated parent company. The first scholarly monograph in eighty years on this important, neglected colony's first century, Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints is a worthy prequel to In the Eye of All Trade, Jarvis's masterful first book. Revealing the dynamic interplay of race, gender, slavery, and environment at the dawn of English America, Jarvis's work challenges us to rethink how Europeans and Africans became distinctly American within the crucible of colonization.

Jump to
Quick Add
Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints

Michael J. Jarvis

Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
Related

Related Books

Cover image of Atlantic Diasporas
Atlantic Diasporas

edited by Richard L. Kagan and Philip D. Morgan

$35.00
Quick Add
Atlantic Diasporas

edited by Richard L. Kagan and Philip D. Morgan

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Race, Sex, and Social Order in Early New Orleans
Race, Sex, and Social Order in Early New Orleans

Jennifer M. Spear

$34.95
Quick Add
Race, Sex, and Social Order in Early New Orleans

Jennifer M. Spear

Publication Date
Binding Type
Cover image of Travels through American History in the Mid-Atlantic
Travels through American History in the Mid-Atlantic

Charles W. Mitchell
with maps by Elizabeth Church Mitchell

$24.95
Quick Add
Travels through American History in the Mid-Atlantic

Charles W. Mitchell
with maps by Elizabeth Church Mitchell

Publication Date
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of The Academic Avant-Garde
The Academic Avant-Garde

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

$34.95
Quick Add
The Academic Avant-Garde

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Binding Type
Preorder
Cover image of Inheriting the Bomb
Inheriting the Bomb

Mariana Budjeryn

$34.95
Quick Add
Inheriting the Bomb

Mariana Budjeryn

Publication Date: December 27, 2022
Binding Type
Reviews

Reviews

Seventeenth-century Bermuda boasted godly settlers, a staple crop, enslaved labor, and a robust maritime trade, making it a great venue for understanding colonization's intensive cultural adaptations. Jarvis's fabulous interdisciplinary intervention places Bermuda in its larger Atlantic and global contexts while also explaining its peculiar version of English expansion.

Bermuda played a crucial role in the creation of the English Atlantic. In this beautifully written book, Michael Jarvis, this generation's acknowledged authority on Bermuda, explores the early colony's dramatic history and the vital social, religious, and economic developments that came to characterize England's seventeenth-century American empire.

The fruit of thirty years of archival and archaeological work, this treat for Bermudians, specialists, and non-specialists alike achieves that most difficult of goals: a flowing narrative that is at once deeply engaged with multiple fields of scholarship as well as being eminently pleasurable to read.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
496
ISBN
9781421443607
Illustration Description
19 b&w photos, 5 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Author's Note
Introduction. A New Bermuda Triangle
Chapter 1. Isle of Devils
Chapter 2. Planting a Christian Commonwealth
Chapter 3. Bermuda: Company and Colony
Chapter 4. Becoming Bermudian: Saints

Preface
Author's Note
Introduction. A New Bermuda Triangle
Chapter 1. Isle of Devils
Chapter 2. Planting a Christian Commonwealth
Chapter 3. Bermuda: Company and Colony
Chapter 4. Becoming Bermudian: Saints, Slaves, and Sinners
Chapter 5. Tobacco Troubles: Diversification in an Expanding English Atlantic
Chapter 6. Clerical Conflicts and Civil War
Chapter 7. Restorations: King, Company, Colony
Chapter 8. The Battle for Bermuda, 1669–1684
Conclusion. Change and Persistence in a New Maritime Bermuda
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index

Author Bio
Michael J. Jarvis
Featured Contributor

Michael J. Jarvis

Michael J. Jarvis is an associate professor of history, the director of the Smith's Island Archaeology Project, and the director of the Digital Elmina Archaeology Project at the University of Rochester. He is the author of In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians, and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680–1783.