Roanoke Colonies Research Newsletter
Volume 5.1 (November 1997)
New Publications on Roanoke Colonization
Several new publications with Roanoke colonization connections have appeared.
Roanoke Revisited is a collection of the more significant primary documents from Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Voyages about the 1580s Roanoke colonization efforts. Edited by lebame houston and Barbara Hird, the documents have been modernized, making them appropriate for classroom use as well as being a good way to introduce people afraid of the “Old English,” that is, the early modern English, in which the original documents were written. The documents included are Arthur Barlowe’s narrative of the 1584 voyage, a lengthy selection from Ralph Lane’s account of the 1585-86 colony, Hakluyt’s short passage on the resupply voyage of 1586 that left 15 men on Roanoke Island, and John White’s narratives of the 1587 colonization effort and of the 1590 search for the colonists left in 1587. Roanoke Revisited retails for $5.98 and is available through Penny Books, P.O. Box 486, Manteo, NC 27954.
Gary C. Grassl published “German Mineral Specialists in Elizabethan England and Early English America” in the Yearbook of German-American Studies (31: 45-61). Grassl’s article emphasizes the role of German mineral experts in the late sixteenth-century English explorations of North America, in particular in the Roanoke colonization effort of 1585-86.
The Durham Thomas Harriot Seminar has published Susan Maxwell’s The First Virginia Voyage: The Cavendish Connection. Maxwell discusses Cavendish’s role as both a mariner and as a member of the government of the 1585-86 Roanoke Island colony. The publication is costs £3.50 plus 50p for postage and handling; checks should be made out to G. R. Batho, School of Education, University of Durham, Leazes Road, Durham DH1 1TA, UK.
Finally, Catherine Kozack explores the character of Simon Fernandes (sometimes Fernandez, sometimes Fernando) in her article for The Carolina Coast supplement to the Norfolk, Virginia,Virginian-Pilot, “‘The Lost Colony’ Antagonist Was a Skilled Navigator Who Crossed Colony’s Governor” (15 June 1997: 6-7). Fernandes, who was the pilot for the 1584 and 1585 Roanoke expeditions and was one of the assistants to Governor John White on the 1587 “Lost Colony” expedition, is portrayed as the villain in many versions of the colony’s history. Researcher and writer Olivia Isil, who served as Kozack’s main source for the article, makes the argument that Fernandes’ characterization as the villain of the “Lost Colony” story comes from White’s portrayal after the two had a falling out over a series of misunderstandings during the 1587 expedition.