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At the end of 1618, a blazing green star soared across the night sky over the northern hemisphere. From the Philippines to the Arctic, the comet became a sensation and a symbol, a warning of doom or a promise of salvation. Two years later, as the Pilgrims prepared to sail across the Atlantic on board the Mayflower, the atmosphere remained charged with fear and expectation. Men and women readied themselves for war, pestilence, or divine retribution. Against this background, and amid deep economic depression, the Pilgrims conceived their enterprise of exile.Within a decade, despite crisis and catastrophe, they built a thriving settlement at New Plymouth, based on beaver fur, corn, and cattle. In doing so, they laid the foundations for Massachusetts, New England, and a new nation.

About the Author

Nick Bunker

Nick Bunker is the author of three non-fiction books, including An Empire On The Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History and won the 2015 George Washington Prize. His most recent book, Young Benjamin Franklin: the Birth of Ingenuity, which was published by Knopf in September 2018, tells the story of Franklin's origins and early life and his emergence as America's first great scientist. Born in London and educated in the UK at King's College, Cambridge and then in New York at Columbia University, Bunker began his professional career as a newspaper reporter in Liverpool in the 1980s and then moved to the Financial Times. After leaving journalism he worked in the stock market and in corporate finance, chiefly for the HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. A keen mountain walker, he now lives in the English cathedral city of Lincoln with his wife Sue and their otterhound, Mercury.

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