Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny
In 1628 the Dutch East India Company loaded the Batavia, the flagship of its fleet, with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java; the ship itself was a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful monopoly. The company also sent along a new employee to... show more
In 1628 the Dutch East India Company loaded the Batavia, the flagship of its fleet, with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java; the ship itself was a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful monopoly. The company also sent along a new employee to guard its treasure. He was Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a disgraced and bankrupt man with great charisma and dangerously heretical ideas. With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, he hatched a plot to seize the ship and her riches. The mutiny might have succeeded, but in the dark morning hours of June 3, 1629, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The captain and skipper escaped the wreck, and in a tiny lifeboat they set sail for Java—some 1,500 miles north—to summon help. More than 250 frightened survivors waded ashore, thankful to be alive. Unfortunately, Jeronimus and the mutineers had survived too, and the nightmare was only beginning.
Publish date: May 27th 2003
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages no: 512
Edition language: English
, Non Fiction
, World History
, 17th Century
There's no point telling what the book is about, because the whole thing is too unlikely. But the Spouse saw a documentary on the subject, which was excellent, and my response to hearing about a great narrative is always to read a book. And then, there's nothing like reading about a shipwreck to put...
After reading this book, I think that under favorable circumstances, height of human cruelty could far surpass the physical height of Olympus Mons. Twice. Because if not for the hyperinflation and the Versailles treaty, Adolf Hitler would have been a shitty painter and Hermann Göring would have been...