Monday, September 7, 2009

Henry Hudson's fatal journey - NBIH

When I was young I read a children's book that was based on the diary by the ship's carpenter about the last journey of Willem Barentsz (1597) and I was greatly impressed by it. Not only by the drama of the story, but also by the, in hindsight, unrealistic idea the Indies could be reached by a northern route. At the time, I thought Barentsz's failure would have sufficiently proven the northern route to be impossible.

Yet, after Barentsz, it was Henry Hudson who also tried (between 1607 and 1611). Not just past the east, but several times over a western route around Canada. On New Books In History Marshal Poe spoke with Peter Mancall who wrote a book about Hudson's final journey past the west. In the interview Mancall largely recounts the fate of Hudson and all the excitement I had with Barentsz's tale came back to me. These explorations are amazing feats under impossible circumstances. I reckon everyone will be taken in by such stories. Therefore the interview with Mancall is highly recommended.

Also recommended is the previous issue of NBIH, an interview with Kevin Kenny about William Penn's attempt to create an ideal state in Pennsylvania and - inevitably - how this ideal failed to be realized.

More NBIH:
Substance abuse in the midwest,
How could they continue - NBIH on WW1 soldiers,
After slavery was abolished,
Two great shows on New Books In History.

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