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Making Haste from Babylon (Random House – The Bodley Head)

Making Haste from Babylon (Random House – The Bodley Head)

At the end of 1618, a blazing green star soared across the night sky over the Northern Hemisphere. From the Philippines to the Great Lakes, the comet became a sensation and a symbol, a warning of doom or a promise of salvation.

Two years later, as the Pilgrims prepared to sail across the Atlantic on board the Mayflower, the atmosphere remained charged with fear and expectation. Men and women readied themselves for war, pestilence or divine retribution. Against this background, and amid deep economic depression, the Pilgrims conceived their enterprise of exile.

Within a decade, despite crisis and catastrophe, they built a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on beaver fur, corn and cattle. In doing so, they laid the foundations for Massachusetts, New England and a new nation.

Using a wealth of new evidence - from landscape, archaeology and hundreds of overlooked or neglected documents - Nick Bunker gives a vivid and strikingly original account of the Mayflower project and the first decade of the Plymouth Colony. From mercantile London and the rural England of Queen Elizabeth and King James to the mountains and rivers of Maine, he weaves a rich narrative which combines religion, politics, money, science and the sea.

The Pilgrims were entrepreneurs as well as evangelicals, political radicals as well as Christian idealists. Making Haste from Babylon tells their story in unrivalled depth, from their roots in religious conflict and village strife at home to their final creation of a permanent foothold in America.

About the Author

Nick Bunker

For more than a decade, Nick Bunker worked as an investment banker.  Before that he wrote for the Financial Times for six years, having begun his career as an investigative reporter on the Liverpool Echo. An open scholar of King’s College, Cambridge, he won two university prizes before graduate study at Columbia University, New York, under the late Edward Said. For many years he sat on the governing body of the Freud Museum, London, where he was treasurer and chair of the trustees. He lives with his wife and his otterhound in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral, not far from the villages where the leaders of the Plymouth Colony were born.