The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in the Plymouth Colony
Henry Holt and Company
, Sep 15, 2000
- 366 pages
Who were the Pilgrims? Far from the somberly clad, stern, and righteous figures children learn about in school, many of the early settlers of Plymouth actually dressed in bright colors, drank heavily, and often got into trouble.
A surprising new look at America's founding fathers and mothers, The Times of Their Lives presents a realistic, factual account of the Plymouth colony based on contemporary archaeology, cultural research, and living history. Taking little known trial transcripts, personal accounts, wills and probate records, as well as physical artifacts such as shards and spoons unearthed from old foundations, James and Patricia Deetz reveal what life in seventeenth century Plymouth was really like. In the process they blow the dust off the dull, wooden figures of tradition and show the people of Plymouth as vibrant individuals who lived out complex and colorful lives in a world profoundly different than our own.
Beginning with an eyewitness account of the first Thanksgiving, The Times of Their Lives offers an often startling portrait of Plymouth Colony that includes aspects of the legal system, folk beliefs, family life, women’s roles and gender issues, eating habits, alcohol use, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, suspicious deaths, and violent crimes.
The result is an impeccably researched and highly imaginative work that shakes up our view of one of the most cherished myths of American history.