Arts

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Andrew Lawler, Author

Andrew Lawler’s new account of what may have happened to 116 vanished Roanoke colonists of the late 16th century represents a lifetime of fascination for the author going back to performances of The Lost Colony on Outer Banks vacations when he was a child. “But what really fascinated me was the end when all the settlers go marching off into the woods, hungry and ragged, but singing bravely,” Lawler says. “Then it was our turn, as the audience filed out down the dark path to the parking lot. The eeriness of the moment stayed with me.”

Meeting an English archaeologist preparing for a Hatteras dig, discovering another independent excavation and writing articles for National Geographic fanned the flames of his longtime interest. “Pretty soon I was deep into the many clues that have surfaced in the past 400 years, and found myself nearly as obsessed as some of the amateur and professional sleuths I was covering. The book is a result of that three-year journey.”

New research may move us closer to the truth, but Lawler is not sure that anyone really wants to know with certainty what happened to the colonists. “A little mystery makes life richer,” he says.

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, June, 2018, history, hardcover, $29.95, by Andrew Lawler, and published by Doubleday, New York. To learn more, visit andrewlawler.com.

Leave a Comment