Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of William Bradford's Books

William Bradford's Books

Of Plimmoth Plantation and the Printed Word

Douglas Anderson

Publication Date
Binding Type

Widely regarded as the most important narrative of seventeenth-century New England, William Bradford's Of Plimmoth Plantation is one of the founding
documents of American literature and history. In William Bradford's Books this portrait of the religious dissenters who emigrated from the Netherlands to New England in 1620 receives perhaps its sharpest textual analysis to date—and the first since that of Samuel Eliot Morison two generations ago. Far from the gloomy elegy that many readers find, Bradford's history, argues Douglas Anderson, demonstrates remarkable ambition and subtle grace, as it...

Widely regarded as the most important narrative of seventeenth-century New England, William Bradford's Of Plimmoth Plantation is one of the founding
documents of American literature and history. In William Bradford's Books this portrait of the religious dissenters who emigrated from the Netherlands to New England in 1620 receives perhaps its sharpest textual analysis to date—and the first since that of Samuel Eliot Morison two generations ago. Far from the gloomy elegy that many readers find, Bradford's history, argues Douglas Anderson, demonstrates remarkable ambition and subtle grace, as it contemplates the adaptive success of a small community of religious exiles. Anderson offers fresh literary and historical accounts of Bradford's accomplishment, exploring the context and the form in which the author intended his book to be read.

Reviews

Reviews

Meticulously researched and eloquently argued... This lovingly fashioned biography of the first American history book affirms the fundamental responsibilities of good history writing.

The extraordinary care with which Anderson has crafted his own book can be seen as a kind of homage to its subject... William Bradford's Books is in many ways an unexpectedly rewarding read and a major contribution to early American studies. It is a text that literary critics and historians are both likely to engage with and to rely on for a long time to come and that is poised to change forever how Of Plimmoth Plantation is read and taught.

A model of close reading based on strategies that few if any early Americanists have employed.

A substantial analysis of the form and content of Bradford's history of Plymouth studied against the era's reading practices, publishing conventions, and scriptural interpretations... By making sense of Bradford's manuscript, Anderson brings Bradford himself closer.

The publication of Douglas Anderson's fine book seems, well, providential, and one hopes that it finds the audience that it so richly deserves.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
296
ISBN
9780801870743
Illustration Description
12 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Operations of Print
Chapter 1. Words and Wind
Chapter 2. Such Neighbors and Brethren As We Are
Chapter 3. Artificial Persons
Chapter 4. Here Is the

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Operations of Print
Chapter 1. Words and Wind
Chapter 2. Such Neighbors and Brethren As We Are
Chapter 3. Artificial Persons
Chapter 4. Here Is the Miserablest Time
Chapter 5. Controller of Stories
Conclusion: The High Preserver of Men
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Douglas Anderson
Featured Contributor

Douglas Anderson

Douglas Anderson is the Sterling-Goodman Professor of English at the University of Georgia and the author of several books, including The Radical Enlightenments of Benjamin Franklin, also published by Johns Hopkins.