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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Review - Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that ...

Book Review - Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the New World - by Douglas Hunter
Bloomsbury Press 2009

This first book-length history of the 1609 adventure, four centuries after the event, re-creates the espionage, economics and politics of an age when discoveries in the New World on the American continent were the passion and obsession of old world merchants, politicians and adventurers alike.

Hunter combines his navigational, research and narrative skills to produce a work that is long on new details of this complex voyage, based on many primary source records, yet moves through the human story smoothly as well. He pulls no punches on the human frailties of the adventurers as they face incredible physical and mental challenges in "uncharted waters."

Hudson was commissioned by the mighty Dutch East India Company to take the Half Moon and its crew on a voyage of discovery to find an arctic passage north of Russia to the lucrative ports of China but instead explored the eastern coast of North America for the entrance to a northwest passage. This book is the story of that adventure, and includes newly created charts and maps, based on new scholarship and interpretations, of the River that eventually bore his name.

The intrigue involving merchants and politicians of the early seventeenth century in Netherlands, England, Spain and France, among others, provides a distinctive backdrop to this nautical adventure.

If these circumstances are of interest to you, I highly recommend this book as a satisfying read.

Note: This review prepared based on a copy of the book received from the publisher and originally published as a part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program:

Happy Reading! ;-)

Dr. Bill

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! This review has pointed me right to another book I think I would love to read. I love history..can't get enough of it!