Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Creative writing, Fiction
This dissertation, Beheld, seeks to reexamine the Mayflower story through fiction and archival research. The novella-length book tells the story of two women aboard the Mayflower that have been mostly overlooked by history: Dorothy Bradford and Ellen Moore. Both exist only in the footnotes of larger stories. In her husband’s account of the pilgrim’s journey, Dorothy Bradford’s husband provides the only firsthand account of the Mayflower trip. Though her husband, William Bradford, accounts for the deaths aboard the ship—particularly the sailor who mocked their seasickness—and the deaths the winter of their first arrival to North America, he leaves out of his quite detailed book any mention of the only death that occurred in early December: the death of his own wife. Meanwhile, one man sent away his four children on the Mayflower as indentured servants to the Puritans, without his wife’s knowledge. Court records indicate the children’s mother searched for years to locate where her children were. In reimagining the Mayflower story and puritans, more broadly, in the context of the 17th century, this project may be of interest to prose writers, as well as historians and early American scholars.
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Received from author
Nesbit, TaraShea, "Beheld" (2015). Restricted Access ETDs. 66.