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Pilgrim Hall Museum hosts an evening reception and book launch for a new work of Plymouth history by John G. Turner, professor of religious studies at George Mason University. Turner’s precisely-crafted and far-ranging narrative, They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty, resets Plymouth’s significance in a rapidly evolving colonial world and deftly probes the Pilgrims’ complex relationship to the meanings of liberty. Copies available for purchase and signing. This event is part of the Spring 2020 Lecture Series at Pilgrim Hall Museum, sponsored by Brabo Benefits with additional support from Powder Horn Press.
Light refreshments at 6:30PM; book talk begins at 7:00PM.
Turner presents a rich and complex portrait of early Plymouth, a community often mythologized by the public and overlooked by scholars. Drawing on extensive new research, Turner recasts traditional and counter-narratives of Plymouth’s Pilgrim settlers to present a more complex tale of humanity and honor, brutality and betrayal, extraordinary courage and extreme deprivation, faith, fear, violence, and moral compromise.
They Knew They Were Pilgrims is an American story of freedom and unfreedom, written for Americans of all backgrounds. Mining a wealth of underutilized sources — letters, town records, and other documents — Turner tells familiar history in new ways and with an expanded cast of characters. The Pilgrims emerge as neither heroes nor hypocrites, but instead as real men and women who brought very particular notions of Christian liberty across the Atlantic. Sweeping and authoritative, They Knew They Were Pilgrims provides essential context for debates that remain at the heart of American democracy in our own time.