Penelope's Song : A Seventeeth Century Tale for a Twenty-First Century World

It was the goude eeuw, the seventeenth century golden age of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and nowhere was it more glorious and prosperous than in Amsterdam, Holland, the mother city of Nieuw Amsterdam situated by the deep harbor of Mannahatta. Why then would the vivacious niece of a wealthy Dutch merchant hastily marry her father's brilliant student to venture across the dangerous Atlantic Ocean to start their lives together in one of the least desirable outposts in all of the Dutch Empire East or West? Meanwhile, an aristocratic English widow fled the land of her birth, where to a manor bred and manor wed, and departed for New England seeking liberty of conscience. Expecting her only son, Sir Henry, to join her when their family affairs were in order, Civil War erupted in England. Loyal to the monarch who bestowed his knighthood, Sir Henry became a Cavalier fighting for King Charles I. Just when it seemed there was finally an end to war in England and finally at peace, although tenuous, with Eastern Woodland Algonquians up and down the North Atlantic Coast, the English Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell sparked a trade war for supremacy on the high seas that threatened to topple the vast Dutch Empire and destabilize their lives again. For them and legendary couple Richard and Penelope Stout, once more dreams were deterred by the desperate drama to come. Now you, the reader, are invited to discover what their lives, the real heart of history, have to do with you and our twenty-first century world.

--Carol J. DeMars



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