Hakluyt's Promise: An Elizabethan's Obsession for an English America

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Yale University Press, Oct 1, 2008 - History - 400 pages
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Richard Hakluyt the younger, a contemporary of William Shakespeare, advocated the creation of English colonies in the New World at a time when the advantages of this idea were far from self-evident. This book describes in detail the life and times of Hakluyt, a trained minister who became an editor of travel accounts.  Hakluyt’s Promise demonstrates his prominent role in the establishment of English America as well as his interests in English opportunities in the East Indies. The volume presents nearly 50 illustrations—many unpublished since the sixteenth century—and offers a fresh view of Hakluyt’s milieu and the central concerns of the Elizabethan age.

Though he never traveled farther than Paris, young Hakluyt spent much of the 1580s recording information about the western hemisphere and became an international authority on overseas exploration. The book traces his rise to prominence as a source of information and inspiration for England’s policy makers, including the queen, and his advocacy for colonies in Roanoke and Jamestown. Hakluyt’s thought was shaped by debates that stretched across Europe, and his interests ranged just as widely, encompassing such topics as peaceful coexistence with Native Americans, the New World as a Protestant Holy Land, and in, his later life, trade with the Spice Islands.


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Hakluyt. Datos biográficos

Selected pages


1 London c 1592 Woodsons Tusk
2 London 1568 The Visit
3 Oxford c 1571 Rumors
4 Oxford 1577 The Ice
5 Oxford c 1580 Passages
6 Paris 1583 The Devouring Sea
7 Paris and London 1584 The Grammar of Colonization
8 Paris and London 1584 to 1589 Cabinets and Curiosities
10 London 1609 Virginia Richly Valued
11 Wetheringsett and London 1614 The Malayan Dialogues
A Note on Method and Sources

9 London 1590 to 1600 Truth and Lies

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About the author (2008)

Peter C. Mancall is professor of history and anthropology at the University of Southern California and director of the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute. He is author of "Hakluyt's Promise: An Elizabethan's Obsession for an English America" and editor of "Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology".

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