The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America             FALL 2011 BOOK STUDY ASSIGNMENT

This Fall’s Book Study, Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith’s The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America, will be offered twice this Fall. Participants may attend either the Tuesday, November 15 or Thursday, November 17 Book Study sessions which will be held at the East Tennessee History Center from 5-7 p.m.

There are 6 hrs. available (4 hrs. reading on your own time & brief book summary [see below] & 2 hrs. Book Study session) on the Professional Development Plan (PDP) for those who read and participate in the book study session. Remember that you will be paid 22.00/hour for your first 16 hours of personal professional development time for your PDP (the 24 hours of school-day mini-institutes bring you to the year’s goal of 40 hours).  The six hours for the book study session will qualify for the hourly stipend since they are on your own time.  Please note that a travel stipend will not be paid in lieu of the hourly stipend. 

Book Summary Assignment: 600-750 words [double-spaced with standard font, text, and 1-inch margins works out to somewhere between a page and half to a little over 2 pages]. In your summary, please address both of the following questions:

1. What was the connection between Virginia and Bermuda in the early seventeenth century?

2. What role did religious conviction and providential thinking play in the Jamestown and Somers Island companies? In the settlements in Virginia and Bermuda?

At the conclusion of your Book Summary Assignment, please address the following question: Does the story told in this book change or affirm your understanding of this historical period—the earliest period of English settlement in the Americas? How so?

Book Summary Assignment Due: Please e-mail me your assignment as an attachment.

  • November 15 Book Summary Assignment Due: November 14
  • November 17 Book Summary Assignment Due: November 16

As you read The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown, please keep in mind the following points that will be useful to the discussion:

1.       What are the central goals or themes of the book?

2.       Describe the sources that the historians used to write this book.

3.       Whose voice(s) are being heard through these sources?

4.        What are the strengths and weaknesses of narrative history?

5.        Where did the book succeed? Where did it fail?

6.        Why has the connection between Virginia and Bermuda been largely ignored by historians?

7.        Where you previously aware—either from prior knowledge or textbook—of this particular story of the Sea Venture and its mission to rescue the starving settlers at Jamestown? If so, how is the story told in this book similar to or different from what you knew or what is presented in the  history textbook that your students use?                                                                                        

William E. Hardy, TAH Academic Coordinator,, 865.215.8875