Voices of The Mayflower tells the story of a handful of religious fanatics, brave souls, crooks and cowards who sailed from Europe to New England 400 years ago – some in pursuit of religious freedom but most adventurers in the quest for riches. The narrative begins in 1602 six years before a small band known as Separatists flee persecution in England for the Netherlands. Exile is a painful disappointment but, undaunted, they sail the Atlantic in a rickety ship used for the Bordeaux wine trade to a world where they hope to create a perfect community. Half of them die within weeks of landing in New England. For the rest, there is nothing but a heroic struggle to survive famine, plague, ‘savages and wild lions’. They are cheated by their London backers and betrayed and almost bankrupted by one of their own. They confound their reputation as God-fearing folk by ruthlessly beheading a Native American chief. We share moments of love and loyalty – though most marriages are matters of cold convenience. There are stories of idealism and sacrifice but this is not a warm saga of ‘pilgrims’ living in saintly perfection; some are guilty of greed, duplicity and even murder. This is the story of The Mayflower and the voyage that changed the world.
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