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

Publication date:
23 Nov 2007
336 pages: 234 x 156 x 35mm
16 b&w 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 "Pilgrims" 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 lecturer in divinity, University of Edinburgh.

Listen to author interview on BBC Radio 4:
'Did pilgrims give up their dream?'

6th July 2009

'In short, Susan Hardman Moore knows her stuff. Now a lecturer in divinity at the University of Edinburgh, she had drilled into her subject with precision-tool intensity. For the most part, the individuals she has traced are long forgotten souls, but she has achieved a familiarity with their personal odysseys as if they were next-door neighbors.' - Raymond Seitz, Literary Review

'Susan Hardman Moore offers one of the best short accounts of the motives behind this much analysed migration published in recent years... In graceful but intelligent prose... the level of detail she is able to bring to the factors shaping these choices, are remarkable... this is a history made from thousands of individual decisions... Hardman Moore tells it superbly.' - Peter Thompson, BBC History Magazine
' ... a rich and fascinating book of great importance for the history of 17th-century England, as a well as for colonial America.' - Malcolm Gaskill, Sunday Telegraph