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Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

2.89 of 5 stars 2.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,269 ratings  ·  91 reviews
In February 1676, during King Philip's War, the frontier village of Lancaster, Massachusetts, was attacked by a party of Nipmuck Indians and completely destroyed. As relief from Concord approached, the attackers withdrew, taking with them 24 captives, including Mrs. Mary Rowlandson and her three children.

For almost three months the little family was forced to live with the
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Paperback, 36 pages
Published November 3rd 2006 by Hard Press (first published 1682)
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Robin
Mary Rowlandson was a European captive of Native Americans who kidnapped her and her children and held them hostage. She survived plenty of atrocities, including slavery, witnessing people's murders, and holding her son as he died in her arms. This is her testimony in book form and apparently, in Ye Olde Puritan Tymes it sold like hotcakes, because even 350 years ago, nothing sold readers on a book quite like kidnapping and torture: hence, the American captivity narrative (ah, our great American ...more
Steven
The Lancaster slaughter which opens the narrative horrifies me still, as it was intended. But there's only so many times you can say, "knocked in the head," without unlidding your reader's laughbox. I tried not to smile, I really did. Alas...

The "removes" Rowlandson uses to mark the episodes of her journey signify more than wanderlust or nomadic jimmy leg. Each clash and execution, each day without food or drink, each hour away from the comfortable naivety in which Rowlandson, until her captivit
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Patricia
This short historical narrative was an interesting read, both historically and spiritually. Mary Rowlandson was captured by Indians in the 1600's and held captive for eleven weeks until she was ransomed. Stripped of all comforts, and losing sight of all human help, she was able to endure her captivity only through her strong faith in God. Instead of dwelling on the hardships she faced daily, she continually traced the goodness of God in keeping her safe from even further harm.

"Yet I see, when G
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Evelyn
I can't imagine living through such a nightmare. This book is the record of Mary Rowlandson's capture and captivity by some Native Americans in the year 1676. Her husband, three children and several friends and relatives from her town were also taken, though they were all separated and she only saw some of the others from time to time.

She records the daily circumstances of her captivity in a very frank manner and describes how her faith in the Lord helped her to bear up under her afflictions. He
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Tina
Two stars only for the unintentional comic value. Ah, only a Puritan could write this. You wouldn't think a 50 page piece could be that redundant, but oh, how it is. She basically talks about the food she eats and how much she loves god and how evil the Native Americans are, even though they don't treat her that badly. But there's lots of hilarious moments that are all like: THERE'S NO WAY THE INDIANS COULD SURVIVE ON THEIR OWN THIS MUST BE YOUR WILL GOD THANK YOU SO MUCH and then the best part ...more
Jimmy
Written about 1675, this is probably the most famous of the captivity narratives. It's a slog to read with the long paragraphs, Biblical quotes, and archaic language. I understand the Biblical info was added later by others. As always, the particulars of the truth of the narrative is somewhat in doubt.

Then there are the occasional lines like this one: "That night they bade me go out of the wigwam again. My mistress's papoose was sick, and it died that night, and there was one benefit in it—that
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Linda
An important piece of Early American literature, this is a true, first-person narrative account of a 17th century (1682) Puritan woman whose village was attacked by Indians; her family was massacred, and she and a couple of her children were taken captive. Of the 37 in her household, 24 were captured and 12 killed, with only one escaping.

The opening scene is very dramatic and graphic -- barbaric, chaotic, and hellish. Throughout the account various epithets are used to describe the Indians: hell
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KatieSuzanne
It's hard to give stars to someone's true account. The beginning is pretty disturbing and the rest is similar to any account of someone held in captivity. Jews, slaves, Russians...not to sound uncaring, but it's true. There's always a lot of being hungry, being pushed around, doing small favors for kindness, etc. In the end I started wondering if I was in a similar situation and had only a Bible if I'd be quoting it constantly like she was, or any book for that matter. I liked at the end her bri ...more
Alex
Mar 03, 2015 Alex marked it as to-read
Okay, this looks sortof fun. And someone said it was pretty good reading.
Shane
***Review Contains Some Spoilers (But Does Not Give Away Key Information in the Book)***


I came across this book in my studies of American Colonial Literature last week and it intrigued me. I read the beginning excerpt of the book in which the Native Americans attack the town, kidnapping Mary Rowlandson while kidnapping (or killing) some of her children in the process. So my initial concept of this book was that it was going to be a dark, but interesting and factual real-life account.

In the proc
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John Pistelli
I think I am on my fourth or fifth reading of this short book, and they have all been in an academic context, either as student of the text or teacher of it, and always, for that matter, from the Norton Anthology. Rowlandson's narrative stands up to that many readings. Her style is lively, even verging on the epic, as at the in medias res beginning. She has a very observant eye, on the one hand, but also a powerfully allegorizing imagination; these often conflict with each other, which is the ch ...more
Lisa
The "Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson" is the memoir of Mary White Rowlandson (1637-1711), a Colonial American woman who was captured by Natives on 10 February 1675. Forced into slavery by the Narragansett tribe that destroyed her familial farmstead and killed several of her family members, Mrs. Rowlandson was held captive for 11 weeks and five days. Within its terse, faith-filled 45 pages, the book recounts the savagery of her captors and the brutality of her e ...more
Karen
4.5 stars - Re-read in conduction with a discussion led by Neal Salisbury and Lisa Brooks. Having read this work multiple times and in various versions, this is the text to read, ignore all other editions! Salisbury's introductory essay gives an excellent contextualization of this work and clears up some problems and confusions found within. Furthermore, he includes a valuable set of primary source documents in the appendix and provides an intro to each explaining the document's importance to th ...more
Brian
The introduction speaks of a modern battle between the religious right and the liberal heathens of the US. The original author is clearly a faithful puritan of Mid 17th century Massachusetts. All I wanted was a primary source prospective on Native American life and dietary habits in that area. While not focused on that topic this book did offer some tasty sounding tidbits.

Pg. 29 - "...a pancake, about as big [assumed to mean thick] as two fingers. It was made of parched wheat, beaten, and fryed
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Bookend McGee
Mar 20, 2011 Bookend McGee rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: atheists and puritans!
Interesting historical document.

It would read a LOT better as interesting non-fiction had it not been so peppered by the tedious and silly Puritanical interjections.

Of course, the constant God-stuff was the only way that a woman's story would have been allowed to have been published in those sexist days.

Thank God that Puritan literature is not the norm in publishing these days!
PAUL VAUGHN
A Harrowing Account

A Harrowing Account

This personal story of Mrs. Rowlandson's experience with Native Americans more than 400 years ago is fascinating. Her village attacked, many settlers slain, she is captured with her wounded child, and marched into the wilderness. She links her story to Biblical verses which sustained her through. the ordeal. This book is great for history buffs, as well as those looking for inspirational writings. Additionally, the reader gets an immediate sense of the preca
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Erika B. (Snogging on Sunday Books)
An interesting account of a white woman being captured by Native Americans in 1682.
Sam Ruddick
so psychotic it's good. i mean, we don't have to agree with her to kind of like the book. i give this edition 5 stars because it's got all kinds of other crazy stuff in it, too--lists of native american children sold into slavery after the war, for example--that really complicates the issue. and the truth is that, while most of the time her writing is sort of--eh, what to say? she's not an artist. she's an amateur. but every once in a while there's a lovely passage, and the end is quite beautifu ...more
J. Boo
Mrs. Rowlandson's town is attacked by Indians during King Philip's War. Several of her family are killed in the siege of her farmhouse, and she is taken into captivity with a few of her remaining children, including her youngest daughter, who dies some days afterwards both of her injuries and starvation. Sometimes treated with relative kindness, and oftimes not, she survives until she and her remaining children are ransomed by her husband.

It's an interesting book, and a good picture of the purit
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Eustachio
Interessante in teoria, noioso in pratica.
Come da titolo: il racconto della prigionia e del salvataggio di Mary Rowlandson, puritana che viene rapita dagli indiani il 10 febbraio 1676 per essere salvata solo tre mesi dopo. È diviso in venti «remove», gli spostamenti che è costretta a fare, allontanandosi sempre di più da casa.
È interessante notare la lingua dell'epoca, è interessante pensare allo stress della psiche di Mary durante il rapimento, è interessante scorgere pezzi di storia americana
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Dwight
http://bookcents.blogspot.com/2010/01...
A few thoughts on the book:
Mary’s faith was an obvious comfort to her throughout her captivity. To the modern reader it almost becomes a joke when any little thing can cause her to remember some scripture that applies to a particular situation, yet it is important to remember the overall circumstances in which she found herself. The reader also knows that it is a foregone conclusion that Mary will live, and her writing style can help foster that feeling.
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Laurie
Rarefied first person account of an English woman or early American colonial goodwife depending on your point of view, taken captive by Native Americans during King Philip's War. Historians of early American history often refer to Mary Rowlandson and it was time to directly make her acquaintance.

Three things strike me. First, the Puritans saw EVERYTHING through the lens of their brand of Christianity. Of course I knew this intellectually, but it really sank in as I read her account of suffering
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Rosanne Lortz
One of the lovely things about seventeenth century books is that once you’ve read the title you really know what the whole book is about. The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is one of these explanatory titles. Mary was a colonial American woman who was seized from her home by marauding Indians and forced to travel about with the tribe for eleven weeks. Her husband, who was away from home, escaped capture, but her three children and many of her in-laws were ...more
Grace
This book contains various primary sources from events that occurred during Metacom's War of 1675-1676. The featured source is an account by Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan woman from New England who was captured and held prisoner for nearly three months by local Indians. Mary tells not only of the actual capture, but also of her life among the Indians. She had to suffer through the death of one child and being separated from two other children. She was often close to starving and describes some of t ...more
April
The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson I found to be a breath-taking and moving account. Rowlandson illustrates the cruelty as well as the compassion of the Indians living in 1675.

For Mary Rowlandson when all hope seemed lost she still had hope in God, and through her tribulations she reflected upon her life as a Christian and found she had been lacking in proper decorum towards God. Despite having opportunities to run away, she waited for the Lord to release her from
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Emily
Yeah......this was not an exciting read. It is very detailed, and relatively dispassionate. She discusses food a LOT (I'm sure it was a very salient concern in her captivity). Lots of scripture, though I'm intrigued by Jason's idea of her carrying her culture with her through these various removes, and using the bible and Christianity as a light in the darkness she was experiencing at the time having been captured and held in a strange culture as a slave against her will.

And it is perfectly wit
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Joey
If nothing else, this is an interesting historical account of early American colonial relations. While I found myself at odds with some of Rowalndson's puritan whimpering, I was captivated by her account of early English/Native tension. The fact that this was perhaps the first American bestseller speaks volumes about the strange fascination that the early colonists held for the American Indians.
Kaitlin
Please don't read if you don't understand the historical context of this story. Was probably not even written by Mary Rowlandson. Her husband was a puritan minister and best friends with Cotton and Increase Mather (aka the men who condemned people to death during the Salem Witch Trials). Mary's story has a racial bias and is meant to demonize Native American culture.
Alana
I found it difficult to sympathize with Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. The death of her child was horrible, and I'm sure she went hungrier than she was used to; but, really, a few nuts and a scrap of meat every few days for 11 weeks? Her "mistress" was nasty, true, but most of the other Native Americans were far kinder than most white masters.
Mirra
While the language used in this book was hard to follow at times, being that her narrative was constantly peppered with biblical quotes (thuogh considering that she was a puritan, it makes sense), I found this memoir to be incredibly interesting. It follows her life in 1675 when she was taken captive by the native americans and what happened during her 11 weeks and five day enslavement with them. I have rarely read an account such as this and one that does not look completely negative at ones ma ...more
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Mrs. Mary White Rowlandson was a Puritan resident of the Massachusetts Bay Colony who was captured by Native Americans and held for 11 weeks before being ransomed in 1676. Her later memoir of these events became the first American best-seller, going through four editions in one year.
More about Mary Rowlandson...
Captured by Indians - Lib Ed The Sovereignty and Goodness of God American Colonial Writing (Essays) The Account of Mary Rowlandson and Other Indian Captivity Narratives (Dover Books on Americana) The Collected Works of MARY ROWLANDSON: The Complete Works PergamonMedia

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“It is a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here, and some there, like a company of sheep torn by wolves, all of them stripped naked by a company of hell-hounds, roaring, singing, ranting, and insulting, as if they would have torn our very hearts out; yet the Lord by His almighty power preserved a number of us from death, for there were twenty-four of us taken alive and carried captive.” 1 likes
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