- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: W&N; First Edition edition (14 Feb. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575070242
- ISBN-13: 978-0575070240
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.6 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Batavia's Graveyard Hardcover – 14 Feb 2002
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
If you happen to pass Houtman's Abrolhos, the tiny uninhabited archipelago just off Australia's west coast, you'll find out why it's known as Batavia's Graveyard . For there amid the brightly coloured coral, you can still see the sun-bleached bones of the victims of one of the worst civilian maritime massacres. It's not often that the evidence speaks so clearly and yet it's a racing certainty almost no one in Britain had ever heard of the Batavia. As ever when no Brits are involved, we just aren't that interested. But this could all change with Batavia's Graveyard. Mike Dash had a surprise bestseller in 1999 with Tulipomania, the story of the fascination with the tulip in seventeenth century Holland, and Batavia's Graveyard is another slice of Dutch history from the same period.
In 1628, the Batavia, the newest ship in the Dutch East India Company's fleet set sail on its maiden voyage to Java, with its hold crammed full with gold, silver and precious stones. Also on board was a man called Jeronimus Cornelisz, a member of the extreme Protestant sect, the Mennonites, and a dangerous psychotic with it. Cornelisz orchestrated a mutiny on board, but before his plans could be carried out the boat came to grief on Houtman's Abrolhos. And there the fun and games started. The Batavia's captain, Francisco Pelsaert, having got wind of the mutiny, headed off to get help in the only open boat, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves. Which is where Cornelisz steps in; realising that if he wants to remain undiscovered he will need to first kill all the survivors who weren't part of the mutiny before taking out the rescue party on its arrival, he splits the survivors into two groups. The strongest are sent to live on a nearby atoll where Cornelisz anticipates they will starve to death. Then the killing begins. The denouement, when it comes, is too perfectly timed even for Hollywood. It may be X-rated, but this really is the sort of story you just couldn't make up.--John Crace
Good reviews are now coming in for this wonderful narrative: "Dash evokes the Dutch East Indiamen's institutional avarice and brutality particularly well, along with the cheapness of life on voyages lasting several years, and the type of person they subsequently attracted... Dash's version of their hair-raising tale sensibly eschews hysterical romanticism in favour of a springy, understated narrative that lets the horror speak for itself... Awfully good butnot for the fainthearted."SUNDAY TIMES "The details are gruesome but the stor --Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The story of the Batavia fired the public imagination for many years after the event, and has over time fallen from memory. Mike Dash has brought the story to life again.
The rate at which people died off from an enormous range of ailments, or were killed off by accidents or for seemingly minor offences, is almost incredible. The way Dash tells it, I couldn't help wondering how the Dutch were able to establish any kind of foothold in the Spice Islands at all.
One final thing: I had never really understood what it meant to be "broken on the wheel". Dash leaves you in absolutely no doubt. Grim, very grim...
I thoroughly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
resting from the early history of exploration and of sailing conditions in the early 1600sPublished 5 days ago by NW
Great book, a history lesson, but also very disturbing tale how desperate men are led or bullied or rewarded into comiting some awful murders, by a clever overpowering nutjob,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by chris
An extremely detailed documentation of a mutiny amongst shipwrecked soldiers, sailors, employees and passengers and their families of the Batavia a Dutch East Indies Company ship... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jefroc
this is by any standard a five star book and Dash a heck of a writer and researcher (and I agree with the 5 star reviews) but the maps (especially that of Houtman's Abrolhos) in... Read morePublished 5 months ago by marko uk
Interesting read of a true story, if you like a riveting tail of shipwreck, survivors and and very unsavoury characters then this is for you.Published 5 months ago by Trevor K McCarthy
Fascinating, horrible and unputdownable. One of those books that stays with me, months after I finished it, mostly thanks to the depth of historical detail. Read morePublished 5 months ago by frida&edith
I love reading only true stories and this choice was superb, the start of the book went into a bit too much about how the company the story revolved around began ,but pressing on... Read morePublished 6 months ago by DISILAIN
Look for similar items by category
- Books > History > Archaeology > Maritime Archaeology
- Books > History > Countries & Regions > Australasia & Pacific > Australasia > Australia
- Books > History > Maritime History > Naval Battles
- Books > History > Maritime History > Shipwrecks
- Books > History > Military History > Armed Forces > Naval Forces
- Books > History > World History
- Books > Reference > Transport > Ships