> Bless Their Hearts Mom: History Corner: Secret Token by Andrew Lawler
Thursday, May 3, 2018

History Corner: Secret Token by Andrew Lawler

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from the Doubleday press, via Edelweiss, for review purposes. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own. 

A sweeping account of America’s oldest unsolved mystery, the people racing to unearth its answer, and what the Lost Colony reveals about America today

the secret token cover


In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina to establish the first English settlement in the New World. But when the new colony’s leader returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers had vanished, leaving behind only a single clue—a “secret token” etched into a tree.

What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? That question has consumed historians, archeologists, and amateur sleuths for four hundred years. In The Secret Token, Andrew Lawler sets out on a quest to determine the fate of the settlers, finding fresh leads as he encounters a host of characters obsessed with resolving the enigma. In the course of his journey, Lawler examines how the Lost Colony came to haunt our national consciousness.

Incisive and absorbing, The Secret Token offers a new understanding not just of the Lost Colony and its fate, but of how its absence continues to define—and divide—America.


This book is not for light reading, but at the same time, it IS very readable and approachable. Part of the reason you need longer to read this book, is to THINK about each chapter, when you finish them, and about the theories that are presented: are they too crazy to be believable, is there enough evidence to sustain them. or are they just another way for people to make money off of a myth?

Lawler does an excellent job in getting back to the basics- what do we actually KNOW about the lost colony of Roanoke? There was info I did not know about a couple of the 'rescue' voyages, and the profiteering going on in the English court. Add in a really great history lesson, and before you even get to the 'what happeneds', you'll be soundly hooked on this book. But do be warned- the myth of the Lost Colony can get you into a twisted spiral, as Lawler shows.

What really happened? We still don;t have any clear cut evidence one way or the other, but Lawler does a great job in showing the most promising theories and what they are based on. After reading this book you just MIGHT be inspired to add Roanoke to your Summer travel plans! it's a 'don't miss' for any history lover!

About the Author:

ANDREW LAWLER is the author of the highly acclaimed Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?. He is a contributing writer for Science, a contributing editor for Archaeology Magazine, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Slate. he lives in Asheville, NC

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