Since the first permanent English colony was established at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 and accounts of the new world started to arrive back on the English shores, English men and women have had a fascination with their transatlantic neighbours and the landscape they inhabit.
In this excellent study, Catherine Armstrong looks at the wealth of literature written by settlers of the new colonies, adventurers and commentators back in England, that presented this new world to early modern Englanders. A vast amount of original literature is examined including travel narratives, promotional literature, sermons, broadsides, ballads, plays and journals, to investigate the intellectual links between mother-country and colony.
Representations of the climate, landscape, flora and fauna of North America in the printed and manuscript sources are considered in detail, as is the changing understanding of contemporaries in England of the colonial settlements being established in both Virginia and New England, and how these interpretations affected colonial policy and life on the ground in America.
The book also recreates the context of the London book trade of the seventeenth century and the networks through which this literature would have been produced and transmitted to readers. This book will be valuable to those with interests in colonial history, the Atlantic world, travel literature, and historians of early modern England and North America in general.