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Floreana [Kindle Edition]

Margret Wittmer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The remarkable first-hand account of


This title presents a Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos. It is a breath-taking firsthand account of Wittmer's successful attempt to settle the island of Floreana.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3501 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries; 1 edition (18 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IF32RTG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #389,352 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read this after a trip and throughly enjoyed it. What is so incredible is the conditions the Wittmers lived in when they first went to Floreana in the 1930s - some might say they were mad to do it. Stylistically, the book is not perfect - it's clearly not written by an accomplished author, but that doesn't really matter given the fascinating subject. You'll love it if you are in the least bit interested in the Galapaogos islands.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Woman With Amazing Grit 28 Jun 2014
By johanna
We called her "Ma" Wittmer when I was growing up in Galapagos. When we visited the island of Floreanna she always greeted us with flour on her apron and a twinkle in her eye. Although the book is "ghosted" there are touching moments but mostly it shows the grit and pioneer spirit of a long lost time on a remote island few would ever be inspired to call home. With the new release of the film The Galapagos Affair....I am glad that my old friend Ma Wittmer has a voice through this little book.
Johanna Angermeyer
author of My Father's Island
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Floreana 12 April 2011
This book ,Floreana ,Iread it more than 30 years ago .
And I was looking for it for ,maybe 1 year .
So ,you understand that I am very happy with Amazon
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Sep 2014
Another very interesting read from one of the protagonists in the Floreana mystery of the early 1030's.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  99 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story, with a touch of unsolved mystery 26 Jan 2003
By Glen Engel Cox - Published on
Jill and I went to the Galapagos Islands in 1996, something we had wanted to do for several years. In preparation, we collected information on the islands by previous travelers, and this is the first of many books we read about these isolated islands in the Pacific, roughly 600 miles west of Equador on the South American mainland.
Wittmer, her husband Heinz, and her stepson Harry originally landed on Floreana in 1932. The only other people on Floreana were two fellow German nationals: Dr. Ritter, a self-avowed vegetarian and nudist who was determined to prove his theory that a human could live double their normal span if they followed his ideas on purity of mind and spirit, and his most devoted disciple, Dora. They initially lived in a natural cave previously used by pirates in the 1800s, then built a successive series of homes. Wittmer gives birth to the first human native of Floreana, they battle wild cattle for possession of their garden, encounter the "Empress of Floreana," ad survive at least three different Equadorian governors, one of which tries to have them evicted. Their visitors include American millionaires on round-the-world cruises, the crew of cargo vessels that kindly stop to deliver and pick up mail in a sort of marine pony express, several scientists and naturalists including the famed explorer Thor Heyerdahl, and presidents of both Equador and the United States.
Wittmer's account is not so much about the islands than it is about herself and her family's struggle to survive on the island. That doesn't mean you don't come away from Floreana with an understanding of the islands--you do, but the point-of-view is that of the settler, rather than what one has come to expect of from the Galapagos (say, Darwin's scientific accounts from Voyage of the Beagle).
I've often said that travel accounts (even of the sedentary nature as this one) resemble science fiction. Both treat a human encounter with the unknown in a factual nature, one being fiction and the other factual. In Floreana, isolated from normal human civilization, Wittmer and her family experience a true alien encounter with our world and its native creatures.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great pioneer story about life on an isolated island 23 Oct 2007
By R. Martin - Published on
I just finished reading this book. It was a page turner (if you like books of this sort)! You do not really learn much about the Galapagos, but you do learn a great deal about living life on a remote island. Margret Wittmer and her family left their native land of Germany in 1932 and arrived on the little island of Floreana. And they ended up spending the rest of their lives there! It is a real pioneer story! Life was a struggle at times. But they carved out an amazing but simple life for themselves. At times they were alone on the island, but at other times other people were living on the island as well. You would think that a handful of people on a little island could all get along. Right? Wrong! Some real "characters" lived on the island at times and made life challenging for the Wittmers. So some intrigue and mystery is thrown in there too. Wittmer is an excellent writer and I really enjoyed reading this story of her life. She died in the year 2000 I believe.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling life of 1930's woman in the Galapagos 6 Nov 2005
By A. Woodley - Published on
I highly recommend reading this book along with John Trehernes book on the Galapagos mystery which covers this period of Floreana's history. Margaret Wittmer and her husband and son were three of the first people to live on the tiny and almost deserted island of Floreana in the Galapagos.

Margaret and her husband settled there in the 1930's - nearby were the very strange couple Dr Ritter and his acolyte and lover Dora. Later another very strange woman settled there (the result being a strange disappearance and death) but these are secondary in some ways to the simple way of life Margaret lived on the island. The constant battles with nature to survive. It must have been astonishing in contrast to have the Millionaires yachts arriving at various intervals.

Some trials were greater than others, during her time Margaret gave birth to a new baby on her own.

This account has been written by Margaret and is highly personal. She is not a professional writer and sometimes the narrative suffers but it is powerful and detailed enough to make this a minor inconvenience. The sheer fascination of someone heading off in the 30's to live the life of a near hermitism on an isolated pacific island is compelling. The complications of politics, people and enormous egos means there is ample material to carry you through.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating account of life on a remote island 8 July 2002
By April Burk - Published on
I'm so glad Margret Wittmer wrote of her experiences on Floreana. I really enjoyed reading about her and her husband building a family and a farm on this Galapagos Island. It was so unique and interesting that I believe her story will stay with me for a long time.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1932 Galapagos pioneers 24 Mar 2014
By Grace Fortiter - Published on
We went to Galapagos in 2013, and to read this after our three-day stay on Floreana enriched the experience. Heinz and Margaret Wittmer left Cologne Germany for Floreana in Summer 1932, hoping that Heinz's 12 year old son Harry, something of an invalid with poor eyesight, would benefit. (This is completely counterintuitive to a modern reader!) After difficulties they arrive on Floreana, one of the less inhabited Galapagos Islands, from Chapman, the governing HQ island; the other inhabitants are a nutty ex-Berlin dentist and naturopath, Dr. Ritter, and his companion, even more nutty Frau Dore Schauch (sp?) Margaret, amazingly, gives birth to a son Rolph and daughter Inge on Floreana, mostly w/out medical help. Those who come to live on small islands are either genuinely mad, or earnest: the Wittmers fall into the latter category, and are given much trouble by the Ritter menage, an ersatz baroness and her sado-masochistic retinue. Dark things happen -- utterly riveting, a minor "Lord of the Flies." But visitors are either the lowly seamen or the very grand: President Roosevelt, head of the Smithsonian who becomes Wittmers' friend, an oil mogul from LA who returns often in his yacht, a famous German admiral from WW I. Gripping story, I couldn't put it down -- beats most pioneer journals of the American West.
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