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William Morrell and Epic Poetry in Colonial New England (Ad Navseam, Episode 104)

November 24, 2022

For a special Thanksgiving episode, this week the guys take a look at the "earliest surviving work of poetry about New England and the second oldest poem whose origins can be traced directly to the British American colonies." William Morrell (d. 1625), sometime Oxford Classics student, Anglican priest, and member of the failed Wessagusset Colony in Weymouth, MA, wrote a fascinating poem about Nova Anglia, its flora, fauna, and Native American inhabitants. Drawing on the work of Andrew Gaudio, Jeff and Dave share a lively discussion of the poetry's beauty, Morrell's fairmindedness, proselytizing spirit, and a few questions about colonialism. Lynxes, beavers, bears, and bobcats, this episode is stuffed like a turkey with unusual and recherche conversation. Plus, two more limericks during the ad read, and a special Thanksgiving Easter Egg at the end. Don't miss it!

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