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The Ship Thieves: TheTrue Tales of James Porter, Colonial Pirate [Hardcover]

Sian Rees
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Feb 2006
James Porter, Cockney fingersmith, sailor, adventurer, convict and chancer, led a colourful life until he was transported to the wild outpost of Van Diemen's Land, modern day Tasmania, in 1823. Never one for rules, he consequently suffered the miserable conditions of the chain gang until, following one of his many audacious escapes, the cunningly resourceful Porter and nine other convicts hijacked a ship and crossed the South Pacific to Chile. There they enjoyed a year's blissful refuge until betrayal led to discovery and recapture. Tried for piracy and condemned to death in Tasmania, his sentence was commuted to exile by the British government and Porter was sent to rot on Norfolk Island where his story was buried until now. In the vein of her bestselling Floating Brothel, The Ship's Thieves is told in Rees' vividly evocative, superbly emotive prose which sets the reader adrift a salty tale of adventure on the high seas, and which is all the more enthralling for its flawless research and historical accuracy. Entertaining and accessible, Rees' fans will delight in this new gem.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (2 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845131401
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845131401
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,428,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


...a miracle of compressed intelligence. -- The Times

From the Publisher

By the author of the bestselling Floating Brothel, which sold 30,000 in hardback and 60,000 in paperback

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
For readers interested in colonial Australian history, this is a must! Rees has written an engaging account of James Porter's convict life in Van Diemen's Land and his attempts to 'bolt' from the authorities at any opportunity. It brings to life an interesting individual and makes you want to read it all at once just to see what happens. This book should be on every bookshelf and right next to 'The Floating Brothel'. A great read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars well reasearched 5 July 2006
the narrative of the book is a little patchy in parts due to the difficulty of available info

undoubtably a hell of a tale in contemporay terms it could have been as big a papillion alas time and lack of first hand accounting in detail leave this well short
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