Boon Island: Including Contemporary Accounts of the Wreck of the Nottingham Galley

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UPNE, 1996 - Fiction - 373 pages
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This classic tale of shipwreck and survival is reprinted in a new edition, with essays that provide a historical perspective and trace the sources from which Kenneth Roberts (1885-1957) drew his tale. A native Mainer, Roberts, whose historical novels include Northwest Passage and Arundel, was intrigued by the story of the December 1710 wreck of the Nottingham. After running aground a dozen miles offshore, the ship broke up, stranding her crew with minimal tools, scant shelter, and a few pieces of cheese. The men survived nearly a month of screeching gales, sub-freezing temperatures, and driving snowstorms. During their ordeal they resorted to cannibalism and were finally rescued after one of them made it ashore on a crude raft. Included here are contemporary accounts from crew members, offering dramatically different versions of the true-life traumatic event and a fascinating counterpoint to Roberts’ fictionalized version. A bestseller when published in 1956, Boon Island is a story of the ways that crisis can inspire the best--and worst--in human nature.

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Great book, we spent summers on York Beach ME. We'd look out over the water, to the horizon, looking for that lonely tower on Boon Island.


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About the author (1996)

The editors are at Mary Washington College where JACK BALES is Reference Librarian and author of two books on Kenneth Roberts and RICHARD WARNER is Professor of History.

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