From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Bataviaâ€™s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Companyâ€™s flagship, was loaded with a kingâ€™s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Companyâ€™s fleet, a tangible symbol of the worldâ€™s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas. With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeedâ€”but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Javaâ€”some 1,800 miles northâ€”to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimusâ€™s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers.Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy heâ€™d learned in Hollandâ€™s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimusâ€™s band of butchers.Unluckily for the mutineers, the Bataviaâ€™s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Companyâ€™s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Bataviaâ€™s Graveyard.Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Bataviaâ€™s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dashâ€™s place as one of the finest writers of the genre.
History, Australia & Oceania, Australia,