Pilgrims New World Settlers and the Call of Home Susan Hardman Moore

Publication date:
02 Feb 2010
336 pages: 234 x 156 x 30mm
16 black-&-white illustrations

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.

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

“…most fascinating historical account with detailed research…no boring record, for the author gives many cameos of actual people involved… This book must become a standard work on the subject and we are indebted to the author.” — Revd Dr John Tudor, Methodist Recorder

“[A] thrilling study … superb, highly original, written with great clarity and humanity, concerned with often obscure lives.” — Paul Lay, History Today

"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

"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