Searching for Virginia Dare


The disappearance of the infant Virginia Dare, the first English child born on American soil, has dogged historians for more than four centuries. All we know is that she was born, baptized, and abandoned, within a two-week period, on the shores of the Outer Banks. Fiction writers, poets, politicians, and archeologists have all taken stabs at solving the mystery: What became of Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony? Inspired by legends, hoaxes and reports of blue-eyed Indians, author Marjorie Hudson leaves behind the dusty tomes of the library and begins her quest to find an answer.

In a rich and astonishing tapestry of research and interviews, lyric description and road trip, fiction scenes and tangents of memory, Hudson begins to discover the secrets of the Virginia Dare mystery, as well as some surprising secrets in her own life:

What Hudson learns on her pilgrimage is that our nation's oldest mystery is quintessentially a family story: Families move, separate and forget to pass information along. Those who remain, make things up. We are a nation largely made up of people who come from somewhere else, or who as natives saw their families and cultures devastated by European invasion. Our collective history is rooted in a pattern of loss and memory. In the end, that is why the story of Virginia Dare haunts us—it is our story, too.

"Searching for Virginia Dare is as fascinating as a detective story—which, in a way, it is. An absorbing, intelligent consideration of national and personal identity, beautifully written."-- Lee Smith, author of Fair and Tender Ladies and Oral History.

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