Held Captive by Indians

Selected Narratives, 1642-1836

  • Author(s): Vanderbeets, Richard
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 1984-09-15
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $39.95 | Buy Now

“The brilliant introductory essay [and] the superb editing . . . combine to make the book a valuable contribution to American history and literature.”–Pacific Historical Review

“The value of this gruesomely fascinating collection is inestimable. . . . This is a book for both the scholar and casual reader who wants something out of the ordinary.”–Library Journal

“The best of the genre that has appeared, . . . comprehensive, well-edited, and thoroughly useful.”–Russell B. Nye

Among the early white settlers, accounts of Indian captivities and massacres became America’s first literature of catharsis—a means by which a population that disapproved of fiction and play-acting could satisfy its appetite for stories about other people’s misfortunes. This collection of unaltered captivity narratives, first published in 1973, remains an invaluable source of information for historians and ethnologists, providing a fascinating glimpse of a vanished era.

For this edition, VanDerBeets has written a new preface discussing the proliferation of recent scholarship about captivity narratives, especially those written by women.

The Editor: Richard VanDerBeets, a specialist in early American literature, is emeritus professor of English at San Jose State University. He lives in Aptos, California.