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Future HistoryGlobal Fantasies in Seventeenth-Century American and British Writings$
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Kristina Bross

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190665135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190665135.001.0001

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“Of the New-World a new discoverie”

“Of the New-World a new discoverie”

Thomas Gage Breaks the Space-Time Continuum

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter 2 “Of the New-World a new discoverie”
Source:
Future History
Author(s):

Kristina Bross

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190665135.003.0003

Chapter 2 analyzes Thomas Gage’s The English-American (1648), which urges Oliver Cromwell to invade New Spain (the “Western Design”). Gage, an English Catholic, lived in New Spain for twelve years, apostasized and returned to England as a Protestant minister, and published accounts of his travels. Gage’s works imagine an alternative history in which England, not Spain, backed Columbus’s explorations and prognosticates a worldwide English empire. He presents himself as a latter-day Columbus, offering the discovery of America to Cromwell in the role of King Henry VII. The coda takes a 1628 document preserved in the British National Archives as a starting point to consider how the Victorian Calendar of State Papers and especially one of its editors (and author of the children’s gift-book Hearts of Oak), W. Noel Sainsbury, made meaning of such materials, establishing “what the past will have meant” in the late nineteenth century and beyond.

Keywords:   Thomas Gage, The English-American, alternative history, Western Design, W. Noel Sainsbury, Calendar of State Papers, Hearts of Oak, Columbus

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