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.