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Voyages of the Elizabethan Seamen to America

Nature volume 23, pages 192193 | Download Citation



WE do not quite understand Mr. Payne's reason for publishing this selection from Hakluyt's classical collection of voyages. The selection is, however, judicious, and cannot fail to be interesting, and at the same time instructive, to those who desire to become familiar with the first beginnings of English conquest in America. Mr. Payne's familiarity with the subject of British colonisation, as exemplified in his excellent little “History of European Colonies,” specially qualifies him for making such a selection as the present. His brief Historical Introduction enables the reader to understand the special significance of the voyages contained in this volume. He shows the various causes in operation at the time to instigate such voyages, causes mainly political and commercial. Other influences were however at work, not the least of which was “the total transformation which astronomy and geography had undergone” during the sixteenth century. The narratives here given are those of Hawkins's and Frobisher's three voyages, Drake's voyages of 1577 and 1585, Gilbert's voyage of 1583, Amadas and Barlow's voyage, 1584; Cavendish's first and last voyages, and Raleigh's voyage to Guiana. Prefixed to each narrative is a short historical introduction.

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