Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony

Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony

by Lee Miller


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November 1587. A report reaches London that Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition, which left England months before to land the first English settlers in America, has foundered. On Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina, a tragedy is unfolding. Something has gone very wrong, and the colony—115 men, women, and children, among them the first English child born in the New World, Virginia Dare—is in trouble. But there will be no rescue. Before help can reach them, all will vanish with barely a trace.
The Lost Colony is America’s oldest unsolved mystery. In this remarkable example of historical detective work, Lee Miller goes back to the original evidence and offers a fresh solution to the enduring legend. She establishes beyond doubt that the tragedy of the Lost Colony did not begin on the shores of Roanoke but within the walls of Westminster, in the inner circle of Queen Elizabeth’s government. As Miller detects, powerful men had reason to want Raleigh’s mission to fail. Furthermore, Miller shows what must have become of the settlers, left to face a hostile world that was itself suffering the upheavals of an alien invasion. Narrating a thrilling tale of court intrigue, spy rings, treachery, sabotage, Native American politics, and colonial power, Miller has finally shed light on a four-hundred-year-old unsolved mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611453317
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 01/01/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 373,287
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lee Miller holds a master’s degree in anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. She was head of research and a writer for the CBS TV series 500 Nations and a consultant for the BBC TV series Land of the Eagle. She has also served as a consultant for various Indian nations, as well as for U.S. federal and state agencies, including the Library of Congress. Of Kaw heritage, she is the founder of the Native Learning Foundation and the author of From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian. She lives in upstate New York.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

List of Illustrations xv

Maps xvi

Part 1 A Case of Missing Persons

1 The Disappearance 3

2 A Case of Missing Persons 19

3 John White: Governor 21

4 Of London 30

5 Of Population 40

6 Of Religion 43

7 The Colonists 48

8 In Certain Danger 57

Part 2 A Case of Murder

9 Sabotage 61

10 The Second Roanoke Expedition: Grenville and the Secotan (1585) 80

11 The Second Roanoke Expedition: Lane's Command (1585-1586) 97

12 Chaunis Temoatan and a Murder (1586) 110

Part 3 A Case of Conspiracy

13 The Lost Colonists (1587) 127

14 Raleigh's Rise to Power 135

15 Political Turmoil 145

16 The Players 162

17 The Motive 180

18 The Game 185

19 The Fall 192

Part 4 Who are the Mandoag?

20 Raleigh's Search 207

21 Jamestown 212

22 War on the Powhatan 218

23 Requiem 223

24 Deep in the Interior 227

25 Who Are the Mandoag? 238

26 Epilogue 261

Appendix A Wingina and the Secotan 265

Appendix B The Meaning of Mandoag and Nottoway 271

Notes and References 273

Bibliography 333

Index 353

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Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed by this book because I found Lee Miller's writing style very difficult to read. She chooses to relate the narrative of the Roanoke colony as if she were relating the story out loud, hence the narrative is told in the present tense, peppered with incomplete sentences, a strange use of italics rather than quotes, and annoying if to was reading a detective novel rather than nonfiction history. It made for very slow and often frustrating reading.
lemuralley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miller's argument about what happened to the lost colony on Roanoke island is interesting and unusual. But her writing style is horrifying. Fragments aren't sentences. Small children know this. Are taught this. In school. Miller, however, doesn't seem to know this. The entire 260-page book is written like that, I suppose, to add drama. Every now and then there are paragraphs written in complete sentences, and those paragraphs are like a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, those paragraphs are rare; I had to give up about a third of a way into the book. I'd have been smacked down in school if I'd turned in anything written the way this book is written.
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A poorly-written and unconvincing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
North Carolina native here with a lifelong interest in the Roanoke colony and is by far the best researched and most detailed of all the books on the subject I have read.
Condorita 8 months ago
Well researched this may have been, but this tale is rife with incomplete sentences, inadequate use of commas, and an abundance of both misused and overused semi-colons, rendering it a difficult and unpleasant read. I can’t help but wonder if the publisher is a vanity press, as it is obvious that this manuscript has never seen a red pen wielded by a competent editor. Even at BookBub’s deep discount, this was overpriced, and had it been a physical copy rather than an e-book, I would be hard-pressed to donate this to my local library with a clear conscience.
CCMambretti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I usually read every word in books about the lost colony, but I couldn't get past about the first third of this one. I see there's a new 2006 edition, which I might look into. However, I much prefer [David Strick]'s [Roanoke Island: The Beginning of English America].
NielsenGW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miller tries with all her might to make history intriguing. This tale of the lost colony of Roanoke has as much as any ethnohistorical book can. While the typography of the work can take some getting used to, it does mesh together primary accounts with historical extrapolation very well. Her non-linear narrative is the only thing I would change.
HaroldTitus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book after having written a first draft novel about the attempts made by Sir Walter Raleigh to establish a colony on the outer banks of North Carolina. The draft remains shelved, but Lee Miller's book provided informed speculation about why the "lost colony" of Roanoke disappeared and where the settlers scattered causing me to consider resuming my project. I appreciated her background information about the miserable lives of ordinary Englishmen, the Queen's treacherous advisors, and the culture of the native Americans. My raiting reflects the vaule of the information she provides.
MarianV on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roanoke, the colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh among others, is usually known as the "lost" colony. How a colony involving several hundred people becomes lost is an interesting story. It has been told before & probably will be again as new technology un-earths clues & evidence. This book, however dwells more on speculation than bringing new facts to light. It is interesting to read of the settlers' hardships & it seems amazing that any colonies were able to survive.
mscongeniality on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most poorly written history books it has been my misfortune to read. I regret having paid full price for it.
kimikimi More than 1 year ago
A completely different look at the lost colony story we all heard as children.  The tie-in with Raleigh and Walsingham was especially interesting as, like most, I had always considered this a purely early American story.   I do wish I had read this as other than an eBook.  I liked that Ms. Miller put all of her footnotes at the end, so as to allow the story 's unfolding to flow but often felt the need to look at a footnote right away or, often, to refer back to earlier pages in the book.  Unfortunately, on my nook, this required the often irritating need to write down (when I remembered) the page I had been on on the narrative before moving around in the text  Nook needs to add some bookmark support for a book like this..
Saint-GermainBS More than 1 year ago
Interesting detailed history of the "lost" colony of Roanoke, the last part of which reads like "whodunit" with a good bit of "what if".
GingerSnapp More than 1 year ago
Very enlightening book with regard to the early settlement on Roanoke Island. Well written, and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ever since I heard of the disappearance of the colonists at Roanoke, I have been curious about what might have happened. That is what caught my interest. I saw this book in a Barnes and Noble store and began reading it on my Nook while I was there. Soon, I was hooked. I've read several historical works about the Elizabethan Era, but this one is unique. The author explores how the people and their activities relate to various developments from each point of view. The author is investigating the disappearance as if it was a crime, not simply a tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this on the basis of an NPR interview-review. Ms. Miller uncovered important new documents on the subject from the UK. However the work shows a serious lack of historical discipline. She needs to have studied or consulted more with historians. She uncritically accepts documents from the Inquisition that are known forgeries, and she also uncritically incorporates speculations about Native American copper-ore mining and smelting in the Carolinas, for which there is no generally accepted evidence. The very final lines of her text most likely do indicate the ultimate fate of any survivors; assimilation in the native population.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first couple of chapters were very interesting. I liked how she started out writing about Roanoke and in the end how she stated her theory. But I thought the middle of the book was utterly boring- mainly because no one cares about Raleigh or any of the other highly important people of the monarchy that have nothing to do with Roanoke. I do like her research on the subject, but frankly, there was just way too many descriptive words than necessary. I also do not completely agree with her theory. I do not know how she came up with all the theories like she did, when there was absolutely nothing there when White returned to Roanoke to rescue the colonists.