Magazine article New Internationalist

The Island That Disappeared

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Island That Disappeared

Article excerpt

The Island that Disappeared by Tom Felling (Explore Books, ISBN 978 19111 84058)

Most people are familiar, at least in outline, with the story of the founding of the United States; how a plucky band of Pilgrims fled religious persecution in England and, with the help of the indigenous people, battled climate and disease to establish their settlement in Massachusetts. In this fascinating book Tom Feiling uncovers a parallel narrative which has almost been lost to history; one which, had things panned out differently, could have led to the colony being established not in New England but in Central America.

In 1630 a sister colony to that in Plymouth was established on the small island of Providence, 70 miles off the coast of Nicaragua. The Providence Island Company, set up by puritan parliamentarians, had high hopes that their venture would be the first of a series of flourishing - and profitable - colonies in the Caribbean and Central America. …

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