‘If it should be a pirate, we had a fine ship, well armed and plenty of men to use the arms, what had we to fear? Accordingly, all hands were set to make preparations for defence against an enemy. The bosun got ready the great guns, the arms chest was unlocked – muskets, swords, handspikes, pistols, all in demand …’ The Ripley Diary, 12th July 1830.
A sailing ship on a voyage that would make a fortune. On board – an ambitious shipowner, his flirtatious young wife, and a crew on the verge of mutiny. Smuggling, piracy and shipwreck are all encountered on this amazing journey. For the first time, the remarkable Ripley Diary is in print. It documents an astonishing voyage to a secret destination in China. This original nineteenth-century text is unique, revealing the early days of free trade in defiance of the edicts of the Emperor of China. It is a national treasure. Enjoy the story of Thomas Ripley, hailed by the Liverpool Chronicle as ‘one of our most successful merchant princes’, a man who rose from rags to riches. Share the thrill of watching whales and dolphins, the excitement of racing a rival ship to Java, and the delights of exotic locations. If you want to know the truth about life on a sailing ship in the nineteenth century, then read this book. Find out why some of the men were pressed into the British Navy and others were clapped in irons. Discover for yourself the secrets of the Ripley Diary, secrets hidden for 180 years.