Dash, Mike.


Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2nd imp., 2002. (Xii) + 398 pp., 3 maps (1 double-page). D.j., 22 x 15cm. FINE. In the autumn of 1628, the Dutch East Indiaman BATAVIA, the largest and latest vessel in the fleet, loaded with gold, silver and gems, set sail with great fanfare on her maiden voyage to Java. On-board was Jeronimus Cornelisz, a disgraced bankrupt and a trouble-maker with dangerously heretical ideas. With the help of several disgruntled sailors, Cornelisz plots mutiny but before he is able to carry out his plans, BATAVIA smashes into a coral reef on the 4th June 1629, running aground on an unexplored chain of islands off the west coast of Australia. The master takes the only boat and sets a course for Java some 1,800 miles away in order to seek assistance, leaving over 200 survivors : men, women and children trapped on the island. Cornelisz chooses this moment to lead his mutiny, takes control and begins to kill the survivors one by one. The story of what happed next is the subject of this book, recalling one of the bloodiest mutinies in maritime history. FINE copy.

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