The Virginia Adventure: Roanoke to James Towne : an Archaeological and Historical Odyssey

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Knopf, 1994 - Jamestown (Va.) - 491 pages
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For thirty-five years, as writer, lecturer, and chief archaeologist at Colonial Williamsburg, Ivor Noel Hume has enlivened for us the material culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America. After his warmly praised book Martin's Hundred, he now turns to the two earliest English outposts in Virginia -- Roanoke and James Towne -- and pieces together revelatory information extrapolated from the shards and postholes of excavations at these sites with contemporary accounts found in journals, letters, and official records of the period. He illuminates narratives that have a mythic status in our early history: the exploits of Sir Walter Ralegh, Captain John Smith, and Powhatan; the life and death of Pocahontas; and the disappearance of the Roanoke colony. He recounts a recent important excavation at Roanoke where he and his colleagues found the work site of a metallurgist named Joachim Gans, whose findings about the mineral wealth of Virginia helped to convince London merchants that America was a worthy risk This is an account of high and low adventure, of noble efforts and base impulses, and of the inevitably tragic interactions between Indians and Europeans, marked by greed, treachery, and commonplace savagery on both sides. The astonishment of this history is that despite bad luck, bad management, and bad blood, the English presence in America persisted and the Virginia settlements survived as the birthplace of a country founded on English law and language.
With clarity, authority, and elegant wit, Noel Hume has enhanced our understanding of the historical forces and principal players behind England's first perilous ventures into the New World, and proved again that he iswithout a doubt one of the great interpreters of our early colonial past.

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THE VIRGINIA ADVENTURE: Roanoke to James Towne: An Archaeological and Historical Odyssey

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Grounding his story in documentary and fragmentary archaeological evidence, British archaeologist Hume (Martin's Hundred, 1982) tantalizingly reconstructs the history of the earliest English ... Read full review

The Virginia adventure: Roanoke to James Towne: an archaeological and historical odyssey

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In his latest book since Martin's Hundred (LJ 3/15/82), Hume, chief archaeologist at Colonial Williamsburg for 35 years, brings his diverse talents to bear on the historical archaeology of the Roanoke ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Ivor Noel Hume was born in London and studied at both Framlingham College and St. Lawrence College in England. In 1949 he joined the staff of the Guildhall Museum in London as an archaeologist. He moved to Colonial Williamsburg as chief archaeologist in 1957 and subsequently became director of Williamsburg's Department of Archaeology. Mr. Noel Hume is an honorary research associate of the Smithsonian Institution, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a past vice-president of the British Society of Post-Medieval Archaeology. He is the author of ten previous books, including Here Lies Virginia and Martin's Hundred. In 1992, for contributions to British cultural interests in Virginia, he was named an Officer of the British Empire. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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