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Searching for Virginia Dare; a fool's errand

Hudson, Marjorie

27 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1928556345 / ISBN 13: 9781928556343
Published by Coastal Carolina Press, Wilmington, NC, 2002
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xvii, [1], 181, [1] pages. Illustrated endpapers. Map. Notes. Timeline of Significant Events. Notes. Selected Bibliography. Signed by author on title page. Marjorie Hudson was born in a small town in Illinois, grew up in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Chatham County, North Carolina. Hudson's stories, essays, and poems explore themes of loss, conflict, and a yearning for community deeply threaded through American history and contemporary life. Hudson's creative nonfiction book, Searching for Virginia Dare, was a North Carolina Arts Council Notable Book, and was reviewed and recommended by Our State magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, NC Library Journal, and the The Junior Tar Heel Historian. It has been a featured selection of the Reading on the Road book club at Bookwomen Center for Feminist Reading, and has been used in creative writing programs from East Carolina University's Masters to the MFA program at University of Alaska - Anchorage. In 1587 America's first English child was born in a remote island wilderness. They named her Virginia Dare. Soon after her birth, Virginia and more than a hundred men, women, and children disappeared, leaving a cryptic message carved on a tree. What became of that infant girl and her people, now known as the Lost Colony? In search of an answer, Marjorie Hudson wanders the back roads of North Carolina and Virginia in an aging Dodge Caravan with a satchel of research notes and a head full of memory and imagining. Amazed by abandoned farmhouses wrapped in kudzu, the Great Dismal Swamp "dripping with spotted snakes," the bones of the Jamestown colony, and the living nation of the Lumbee, Hudson discovers an epic story more complex and more deeply moving than she ever imagined. Weaving research and interview, memory and imagination, Hudson's tale is a spellbinding journey, an invitation to deep mysteries that lurk in the history of America and in ourselves. First Edition [Stated], First Printing [Stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 74829

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Searching for Virginia Dare; a fool's errand

Publisher: Coastal Carolina Press, Wilmington, NC

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Four centuries of powerful myth surround the infant Virginia Dare. Abandoned by England in 1587 and left to fend for themselves in the Carolina wilderness, Virginia and more than a hundred other colonists disappeared, leaving behind only scattered clues about their fate. Some say the Lost Colony survived by joining local Native American tribes. Some say Virginia Dare’s descendants still walk among us. Will we ever really know?

Following back roads and cold trails, author Marjorie Hudson stands toe to toe with the bones of English settlers and joins generations of historians, archeologists, and obsessed amateurs in seeking an answer to the mystery: What became of Virginia Dare and her family?

An unconventional look at history, Searching for Virginia Dare moves from research to reflection, and brings the author face to face with her own life’s journey—the painful loss of a child, and family stories that, as an adult, she is only now beginning to understand. From laughter, to grief, to revelation, Searching for Virginia Dare is a unique narrative about the things that haunt us all.

In the tradition of William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways, Hudson’s story is a spellbinding journey, an invitation into a deeper understanding of America and ourselves.

From Publishers Weekly:

In 1587, before Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, three English ships filled with stouthearted men, women and children landed on Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. Within two months, a child was born Virginia Dare the first baby ever born of English parents on American soil. Less than two years later, Virginia and the rest of the "Lost Colony" had vanished. Their fate continues to fascinate scholars of early America. Did the settlers starve from lack of supplies? Were they killed by Native Americans? Wiped out by a hurricane? Or did some of the colonists survive? These questions drive Hudson's admittedly quixotic quest. Put off by the far-out legends and obsessive theories of her predecessors, Hudson begins her search with no preconceptions. She interviews folklorists and archeologists, studies archival records and personal letters, and examines ancient artifacts, only to find what we already knew: nobody really knows what happened to the settlers. Without a central theory to propel the book forward and create suspense, the narrative meanders and loses its way. Hudson ultimately argues that the mystery and loss surrounding Virginia Dare represent a quintessential American story: "Loss reminds us that life is a mystery; that death lurks beneath the surface of our cheerful days; that everything can change in an instant." Nevertheless, the book, Hudson's first, breaks no new ground for serious historians, and its unusual blend of history, fiction and memoir presents too many threads to keep a reader passionately on the hunt.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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