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Detail from the Piri Reis Map

Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

by Thomas Wentworth Higginson


It is today considered possible that there was sporadic contact between Europe and North America as early as the Ice Ages. Before the European voyages to the New World of the ages of discovery there were tales of islands far out in the 'world ocean.' Whether these reflected pre-Columbian knowledge of the Americas or were just the human impulse to fill in the blanks is still up for debate.

This book covers many of the best-known (and some lesser-known) legends, from Atlantis, the Irish voyages of Bran, Maelduin and St. Brendan, the elusive Antillia and the Fountain of Youth which the Spanish sought, and the mysterious city of Norumbega. Rounding out the book is a mass of scholarly notes which identify the sources of each tale.

The author, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, was a 19th century Massachusetts author. A Harvard graduate, he distinguished himself during the civil war period both as an early abolitionist and an officer in the Union army who commanded a regiment of former slaves.

Title Page
List of Illustrations
I. The Story of Atlantis
II. Taliessin of the Radiant Brow
III. The Swan-Children of Lir
IV. Usheen in the Island of Youth
V. Bran the Blessed
VI. The Castle of the Active Door
VII. Merlin the Enchanter
VIII. Sir Lancelot of the Lake
IX. The Half-Man
X. King Arthur at Avalon
XI. Maelduin's Voyage
XII. The Voyage of St. Brandan
XIII. Kirwan's Search For Hy-Brasail
XIV. The Isle of Satan's Hand
XV. Antillia, the Island of the Seven Cities
XVI. Harald The Viking
XVII. The Search For Norumbega
XVIII. The Guardians of the St. Lawrence
XIX. The Island of Demons
XX. Bimini and the Fountain of Youth