Henry Hudson: The Myth & Legend

CAPTAIN HENRY HUDSON

How did Henry Hudson look?

Having spent years researching for the Golden Age and American Myth Series, I have studied practically every piece of information there is concerning Henry Hudson. The legendary English captain plays a significant role in three of my historical fiction books. For all practical purposes, there are only four years of history concerning this remarkable man, and much of it is spotty. While the research was for my historical fiction series, I wish to share some information that I found most intriguing.

Jerry Beller Blog - Henry Hudson

Henry Hudson

Jerry Beller Blog - Henry Hudson - Last Voyage

Henry Hudson - Last Voyage

Most of us recognized the dashing figure in the above painting as the famous Captain Henry Hudson. There’s only one problem. While the man in the picture might capture Hudson’s spirit, it almost certainly is not Henry Hudson in that portrait. I learned much about Captain Hudson, his first mate Richard Juet, his second mate John Colman, and the Half Moon. Still, the one thing that stood out is how much we don’t and never will know about these famous men.

While historians disagree on many accounts concerning Henry Hudson, most agree there is no surviving portrait of him. 19th-century biographer, Thomas Janvier, wrote, “No portrait of Hudson is known to be in existence. What has passed with the uncritical for his portrait — a dapper-looking man wearing a ruffed collar — frequently has been, and continues to be, reproduced. Who that man was is unknown. That he was not Hudson is certain.”

Thomas Janvier’s book is one of the several great resources I found for research for my books. You can download a free ebook at the Project Gutenberg: Click here

This examination of Henry Hudson’s portraits is one several that I’ll post on the Captain, The Half Moon, and the Golden Age.

Jerry Beller is the author of the Golden Age Series, American Myth Series, and Jamaica Series.

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