“Tom Feiling engagingly brings the past to life here — his Puritans and pirates are real people, and he interacts easily and unobtrusively with modern islanders and castaways, ferreting out local lore in myriad forms. He has given this tiny anglophone island a clear history, at a time when it might just return to centre stage.” —Times Literary Supplement
The Island that Disappeared tells, for the first time, the story of the passengers aboard the Mayflower’s sister ship (the Seaflower), who in 1630 founded a rival puritan colony on an isolated Caribbean island called Providence — so small it doesn’t appear on most maps. Chaos ensued, and the great experiment failed. One hundred years later the disaster repeated itself.
Travelling to the island today, Tom Feiling finds a new mix of puritans and pirates that make Providence a symbol of how the Western world took shape.
“Feiling expertly draws on his journalism and documentary filmmaking background to create an intricately woven narrative that captivates the reader… a highly informative, perception-altering, and richly entertaining story.” — Booklist
“A spirited narrative bursting with eccentric characters… A tumultuous history briskly told.” —Kirkus
“Feiling’s thoughtfulness and arrestingly good research are indisputable.” —Tablet
“It is hard to decide if Tom Feiling’s future lies as a QC or the new Paul Theroux.” —The Sunday Telegraph
“Feiling… uses the ever-evolving Providence as a lens for examining England’s transformation into a colonial empire…. Holds appeal for readers interested in both Caribbean history and an alternative view of New World settlement.” — Publishers Weekly