The Times of Their Lives

By James Deetz, Patricia Scott Deetz,

Book cover of The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony

Book description

This title sets out to debunk the longstanding ideas about the life of the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Colony. The authors describe the arrival of the English settlers, the early years of the settlement, and the myths which have developed since.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Times of Their Lives as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

James Deetz was an American anthropologist and his wife, a cultural historian. Their book was the result of studying Plymouth Colony court transcripts, wills, probate listings, and rare firsthand accounts, and then combining the facts with archeological evidence from various sites in Plymouth. This book shows a reality of the Pilgrims and Pilgrim life very different from the straight-laced, nearly mythical images from the 18th and 19th centuries: an all too human group who wore bright clothing, drank, believed in witches, had premarital sex and adulterous affairs, and committed petty and serious crimes. This book is informative and…

From Noelle's list on colonial Plymouth.

I love this book because it exposes many myths. To reveal just a few, the Pilgrims were called “Old Comers” or “Old Planters” until the label “Pilgrims” was invented 200 years later. They never landed on a rock wearing those black and white “uniforms” we see in old paintings. The beach was likely sandy and they waded to shore wearing colorful English garb. The first Thanksgiving in late 1621 can be largely credited to about 90 Pokanoket natives, with whom they had made peace. The Indians marched into the settlers’ camp, bringing fresh venison, fish, Indian corn, and more. Much…

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