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Between Two Worlds
Cover of Between Two Worlds
Between Two Worlds
How the English Became Americans
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Over 350,000 intrepid English men, women, and children migrated to America in the seventeenth century, leaving behind their homeland for an uncertain future on distant shores. Whether they settled in Jamestown, Salem, or Barbados, these early English migrants—entrepreneurs, soldiers, and pilgrims alike—sought to re-create their old country in the new land. Yet as Malcolm Gaskill reveals in Between Two Worlds, colonists' efforts to remake England and retain their Englishness proved impossible. As they strove to leave their mark on the New World, they too were altered: by harsh wilderness, by illness and infighting, and by bloody battles with Indians. Gradually acclimating to their new environment, later generations realized that they were perhaps not even English at all. These were the first Americans, and their newfound independence would propel them along the path toward rebellion.A major work of transatlantic history, Between Two Worlds brilliantly illuminates the long, complicated, and often traumatic process by which English colonists became American.

Over 350,000 intrepid English men, women, and children migrated to America in the seventeenth century, leaving behind their homeland for an uncertain future on distant shores. Whether they settled in Jamestown, Salem, or Barbados, these early English migrants—entrepreneurs, soldiers, and pilgrims alike—sought to re-create their old country in the new land. Yet as Malcolm Gaskill reveals in Between Two Worlds, colonists' efforts to remake England and retain their Englishness proved impossible. As they strove to leave their mark on the New World, they too were altered: by harsh wilderness, by illness and infighting, and by bloody battles with Indians. Gradually acclimating to their new environment, later generations realized that they were perhaps not even English at all. These were the first Americans, and their newfound independence would propel them along the path toward rebellion.A major work of transatlantic history, Between Two Worlds brilliantly illuminates the long, complicated, and often traumatic process by which English colonists became American.

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About the Author-
  • Malcolm Gaskill is a professor of early modern history at the University of East Anglia and the author of several books, including Witchfinders. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Gaskill lives near Cambridge, England.

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  • AudioFile Magazine Gildart Jackson's narration conveys a lot of information with just enough emotion and drama to hold the listener's attention throughout this comprehensive look at the 1600s and the lessons learned by early British colonists. His voice blends passages from the period with a modern awareness. That skill hits home when Gaskell writes about harsh British attitudes toward Native Americans. Jackson also sharpens the contrast between utopian writings meant to encourage migration and the realities of colonial life. Stories of New England and Virginia familiar to U.S. listeners are included, and the author ties those stories to political conflicts back in England and the lesser known histories of Newfoundland and the West Indies. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 8, 2014
    Gaskill (Witchfinders), a professor of early modern history at the University of East Anglia, offers an in-depth look at the experiences of the first three generations of English settlers on the American continent that examines their slow transformation into a new culture. As he states, this is an examination of a “neglected dimension of the history of England: what happened to its people in America, and the effect America had on those who remained at home.” Gaskill covers a little less than a century, from 1607 to 1692, a period in which settlers dealt with both culture clash and identity crisis, clinging to old ways even as they were influenced and altered by the frontier, its dangers, and the Native Americans already inhabiting it. Gaskill argues that instead of embracing new identities, “English migrants to America strove to preserve Englishness, and when they did change, the causes were not exclusively American.” Meticulously-researched and drawing on a plenitude of original source material, Gaskill’s study provides an underrepresented view of early American history. However, the dense nature of this book and its scholarly tone may ward off casual readers—it’s perfect for serious historians and academics, less so for those needing an accessible entry point to the subject. Agent: Peter Robinson, Robinson Literary Agency Ltd.

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Between Two Worlds
Between Two Worlds
How the English Became Americans
Malcolm Gaskill
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