Thursday, August 8, 2013

From the Plimoth Plantation Museum Bookstore...

Just a few weeks ago we were visiting Plimoth Plantation, and met up with the deputy director Richard Pickering.  As we were talking we entered the book shop, and I asked him "Which are your favorite books about the Pilgrims?"  This lead to a long, long discussion in front of the bookshelves, and I ended up leaving the shop with a bag FULL of heavy books.  You can see what I've been reading all summer!

First he recommended the new version of William Bradford's journal "Of Plymouth Plantation".  I explained that I was very happy with my old version, edited by Samuel Eliot Morison.  It was given to me upon my acceptance to the Mayflower Society, and is of sentimental value.  Richard went on and on about the value of the new one edited by Caleb Johnson so he convinced me.  It seems that Morison had left out several important passages from Bradford's journal.  If you want the more complete version, get the new one.  I look forward to reading it later this summer.

Since Richard Pickering is also a specialist in the time period, we discussed the important primary source material on the Pilgrims.  There are three books written by the Pilgrims themselves: 1. Bradford's journal 2. Mourt's Relation 3. The letters by Edward Winslow known as Good Newes from New England.  I already owned 1 and 2.  He convinced me (again!) that I needed #3.  I added it to my shopping pile.

He pointed out another book Debts Hopeful and Desperate: Financing the Plymouth Colony.  You see, I had mentioned that Isaac Allerton, agent for the Plymouth Company, was one of my ancestors, and so he knew that I would want this for my collection.  This has a good account of the agreements and contracts made to finance the settlement, and how the Pilgrims were to pay back their debts incurred for their passage to the New World.  It was a small book, so I added it to the pile.

After discussing Philbrook's Mayflower book, he asked if I had Caleb Johnson's new book The Mayflower and her Passengers. I had been meaning to buy it, but it made sense to get it now with my membership discount.  Another addition to my pile of books for the checkout...

After gathering up all our new books, Vincent saw one more on the shelf.  It was the Geneva Bible, on sale for $19.99.  I had known about this bible for years, and the last time we saw it at this book shop it was full price (over $100).  This was a reprint of the 1599 the bible the Pilgrims brought on the Mayflower. It is the bible read by Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I.  But even as important as being the Pilgrim's bible, it is important to me because it was published by Christopher Barker.  He was the co-publisher along with my ancestor, William Bill, to produce the King James Bible and also the book known as the "Wicked Bible".  If you don't know that story, click HERE to read my blog post..

So, how could we resist?  All these books came home with us!

The bottom of the page reads:

by the Deputies of Christopher Barker, Printer to
the Queens most excellent Majestie
Cum privilegio. 

The familiar first page, the Book of Genesis

I already have a family bible with a family register filled out.
This one is blank for now. Maybe I can fill it with my Mayflower lineages?

The Psalms at the back of the book are set
to music for worship.  This is what the Pilgrims
sang at their Sabbath Meetings.

Read more about the Geneva Bible at Wikipedia:

An interesting video about a 1608 Geneva Family Bible from

Plimoth Plantation website  Shop online and support the museum!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated in any way by Plimoth Plantation for this blog post.  I am a member of the museum, and I received the usual member discount at the bookshop.

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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