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Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony (original 2000; edition 2002)

by Lee Miller

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3721629,102 (3.18)6
Member:AbyssWriter
Title:Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony
Authors:Lee Miller
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2002), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:nonfiction, history, anthropology, The Lost Colony, Roanoke, British North America, Virginia

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Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I give this 3.5 out of 4 stars. I would have given it more, but it reads like an essay and because of that I couldn't get into it and really connect with any characters. Still, it was interesting to hear her theory and it does make sense. Is this what happened? Who knows, but it does make you think. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys American history or mysteries. ( )
  Beammey | Jan 2, 2016 |
My second cruise read is actually a book I found on board the ship. It was sitting in the library, and with my interest in the Lost Colony, I knew it was a must read.

And I am absolutely glad I did. Miller does some intense research to figure out what might have happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Looking at the political situation in England, the religious climate, the situation between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, the war with Spain, what went wrong while Ralph Lane was in charge of the fort at Roanoke, how that affected relations with the Native American nations in the vicinity, the personality of John White, Walter Raleigh, and every other person at court possibly involved in the colonization project that sent 117 individuals to their doom in Roanoke.

Miller explores the history as a thrilling mystery to be solved. What happened? How did it happen? Why would someone want the project to fail? Why would they deliberately allow those colonists to come to harm? Why were they stranded in Roanoke when they were supposed to continue on to Chesapeake Bay? Who had the motive and the means? Did people really wish that much damage to Raleigh’s character? Why?

Like I said, some in-depth research goes into this book, and it is definitely worth a read. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Jun 22, 2015 |
Overall, I thought the author presented a very well-researched and plausible explanation for what happened to the Roanoke Colony. It seemed like there wasn't much information available about the Colony, so I was surprised she was able to write an entire book about it. A few major complaints that almost prevented me from finishing the book:
- The first 2/3 of the book was pretty dry, and it finally picked up at the end.
- The author used italics to when quoting various sources, mostly in the middle of sentences. That prevented her from being able to use italics for emphasis, and I found it to be very distracting.
- The author had the worst editor of all time, who allowed her to get away with fragmented sentences...throughout the entire book. Here is an example: "Walsingham is the Queen's Principal Secretary. Secretary of State. Master politician. Machiavellian." It drove me crazy!
-The author presented the story of Roanoke like it was a game of Clue, which trivialized the events and made it seem childish (the cover looks like it was going for a middle-school demographic).
So if you can get past those things, I would recommend this book! ( )
  goet0095 | Mar 27, 2014 |
Review by: Matt

Tough topics? Survival
John White, an artist taken to Roanoke to make maps of the area, is trying to take his family and friends to what he thinks of as paradise, Chesapeake Bay. On the way there are a number of problems, from poisoned water to a captain paid to take them to the wrong island. They end up at Roanoke. The captain allows one person to come back to with him to England, John White. When the ship gets back to England White can’t get back to his colonists with supplies. For several years White waits for his chance. When he does get back to Roanoke, the colonists aren’t there.
My favorite part is when White imagines Chesapeake Bay as paradise. My least favorite part is when the colonists become stranded.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in colonial history. I think they would like it because it has a lot of actual maps and pictures.
I would rate this book a 3 out of 5. I choose that rating because I like history but not that much. It had some spots where it got a little boring. It wasn’t that bad. It was actually kind of cool.


i lovveeeeeeddddddddddddddddddddddddd it ( )
  bplteen | May 15, 2012 |
Few history books that are well-written and documented can be called "exciting." This is an exception. No novelist ever did a cleverer job of hooking the reader into the mystery and carrying him along through the investigation to the sad and troubling, but unavoidable, conclusion. I am an incurable history buff and I must say, "This is one of the best history books I have ever read!"
  davidveal | Apr 14, 2012 |
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Preface:  When I first began work on this book, I intended to write a straightforward history, whose ending included a mysterious disappearance that I hope to solve.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142002283, Paperback)

In November of 1587, a report reached London claiming Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to land English settlers in America had foundered. The colony on Roanoke Island off of the coast of North Carolina-115 men, women, and children-had disappeared without a trace. For four hundred years, the question of what became of the doomed settlers has remained unanswered. Where did they go? What really happened? Why were they on Roanoke Island in the first place, as that was not their destination? Using her consummate skills as an anthropologist and ethnohistorian, Lee Miller casts new light on the previously inexplicable puzzle of Roanoke, unraveling a thrilling web of deceit that can be traced back to the inner circle of Queen Elizabeth's government to finally solve the lasting mystery of the Lost Colony.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The lost colony of Roanoke is America's birthplace and one of America's oldest mysteries. What makes this book unique is that every clue furnished by primary documents is treated as evidence. It answers the three questions essential to solving the mystery: Why were the lost colonists lost? Where did the lost colonists go? Why were the lost colonists never recovered?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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