The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

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HarperCollins Publishers Australia, 2004 - Whaling - 302 pages

The dark, true tale of a boy stolen from Sydney Harbour and his remarkable journey of courage, battle, murder and insanity on the high seas.

the life of Australian whaling captain William Chamberlain - a tale of abduction, adventure and murder on the high seas. "I was taken away, sir "... When author Robert Holden read these words in an interview between the Navy Board and a twelve-year-old boy, he had no idea he was about to embark on an intriguing journey into a neglected period of Australia's rich past. In October 1811, a young Sydney lad by the name of William Chamberlain was abducted aboard the Frederick, a whaling ship captained by a madman not unlike Melville's Captain Ahab. During the next four years at sea, William survived an attack by pirates off the coast of Africa, was rescued by the Royal Navy and fought as a powder-monkey in the Battle of Algiers. William Chamberlain was returned to his family in 1816, but was soon drawn back to a life on the ocean, eventually becoming one of Australia's greatest whaling captains. the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea tells the story of a tumultuous existence filled with adventure, great achievement and also tragedy. It brings to life a fascinating time in Australia's history.

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This is a great early Sydney true story. Very good read. Ian Pelling

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