Batavia

Front Cover
Random House Australia, 2012 - History - 490 pages
4 Reviews
The Shipwreck of the Batavia combines in just the one tale the birth of the world's first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good vs evil, the derring-do of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples and so much more. Described by author Peter FitzSimons as "a true Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meeting Nightmare on Elm Street," the story is set in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland. The magnificent ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to break into the open when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night. While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the long-boat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 250 people on a small island is unwieldy for the small number of supplies they have. Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40 odd mutineers how they could save themselves, kill most of the rest and spare only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jansz - one of the noted beauties of Holland - to service their sexual needs. A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those are prepared to do what it takes to survive . . . hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon be coming back to them with the rescue yacht. It all happened, long ago, and it is for a very good reason that Peter FitzSimons has long maintained that this is "far and away the greatest story in Australia's history, if not the world's." FitzSimons unique writing style has made him the country's best-selling non-fiction writer over the last ten years, and he is perfect man to make this bloody, chilling, stunning tale come alive.
 

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User Review  - michelegorton - LibraryThing

Fitzsimons really bought the gruesome tale to life. This is an amazing tale of the human spirit alongside the depths to which humanity can sink. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kenno82 - LibraryThing

This truly is an amazing story. FitzSimons does it justice, however I was often left wondering what was fact and what was fiction. The author is quite open in saying that he has taken license to stray from the historical record to entertain his readers... and this is achieved. Read full review

Contents

Across the Seven Seas
29
Cry Mutiny
78
The Shine of the Moon oer the Waves
114
Batavias Graveyard
146
The Grip Tightens
181
Bloody Oath
223
Say Your Prayers
266
Attack
315
Deliver Us from Evil
346
In Justice Reunited
377
Epilogue
428
Notes and References
449
Bibliography
466
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About the author (2012)

Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with the Sun-Herald and the Sydney Morning Herald, and the author of more than 20 books, including How Hemlines Predict the Economy and Mawson.

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