The mayflower

From persecuted to persecutors: The Mayflower Pilgrims fall out

The Mayflower’s journey did not simply end with landfall at Plymouth Rock, if indeed it ever arrived there in the first place — John Turner points out that no mention was made of the rock for 150 years after the Pilgrims disembarked; but the little ship has continued its voyage into mythology ever since. At the end of The Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald writes of that ‘transitory enchanted moment’ when human beings came face to face with something commensurate with their capacity for wonder. The Pilgrims gave substance and longevity to that transitory vision when they set up their community in the wilderness. Ten years later the Arbella arrived just

Europe’s eye-popping first glimpse of the Americas

Coronavirus has cast a dampener over this year’s Mayflower 400 celebrations due to a hidden enemy with which the Pilgrim Fathers were all too familiar: within months of their arrival in America more than half of them had died of a disease whose principal symptom was violent coughing. There was no official artist on the Mayflower. Its ragtag party of Separatist Puritans had only been granted a charter on condition that their religious affiliation, banned in England, was not formally recognised. So we can only imagine how the New World looked to the cabin-feverish colonists who made landfall at Plymouth in December 1620, lustily shaking ‘the desert’s gloom/With their hymns