This book is a factional novel about a Welsh man living in America 1744 – 1775.
The story of William Williams, or Seaman Pemrose, who takes to the sea in 1744 to become a pirate, gets captured and ends up in a remote location at Miskito Coast, living amongst natives.
This is the time of colonialism and slavery, yet he manages to live in peace with the indigenious people.
It is truly a fascinating story, a real Robinson Crusoe story with a set of very remarkable and modern-thinking individuals. Pemrose marries a local girl and has a son. The book has been modernised by Terry Breverton to make it more accessible and readbale. It is clearly a labour of love and has a large section of addendums, such as tables, glossary, maps etc.
The book claims to be the first American novel, yet it is unclear whether you could call it that. The journal style reads like a novel but as it is a journal classification could be disputed. Much is written about animals and nature, which doesn’t befit the fictional character, while important sections about the beginning are sparse.
On the other hand, there are interesting issues discussed, such as views on slavery, the parallels and differences to Robinson Crusoe are extremely poignant and the book is an arsenal of information.
The author has clearly done a remarkable job at updating the language and making the story accessible. The claims that come with the book about it’s rank and relevance did put me off slightly but with lower expectations you’ll find a nevertheless interesting and fascinating story that can teach you a bit about the times.
Terry Breverton was born in Birmingham in 1946 to Welsh parents, and brought up in Wales before attending universities in England. He worked in over twenty countries before moving to acadaemia, lecturing in Milan, Bologna and Wales before escaping into full-time writing. A Fellow of the Institutes of Consulting and of Marketing, he has given the prestigious Bemis Lecture in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and has spoken twice at the National Festival of Wales in America and Canada. He has been awarded the Welsh Books Council’s ‘Book of the Month’ five times.