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MRS JEWELL AND THE WRECK OF THE GENERAL GRANT.
By Cristina Sanders. 0.30kg Paperback, 130mm x 200mm, 321 pages. Published 2022
The three-masted sailing ship General Grant is on the southern route from Melbourne to London in 1866, with gold from the diggings secreted in returning miners’ hems and pockets.
In the fog and the dark, the ship strikes the cliffs of the Auckland Islands, is sucked into a cave and wrecked.
Fourteen men make it ashore and one woman – Mrs Jewell. Stuck on a freezing and exposed island, the castaways have to work together to stay alive,
but they’re a disparate group with their own secrets to keep and their only officer is disabled by grief after losing his wife in the wreck.
A woman is a burden they don’t need.
A vivid imagining of the story behind the enduring mystery of one of New Zealand’s early shipwrecks.
NZ$35.00 + delivery.
THIS THING OF DARKNESS.
By Harry Thompson . 0.59kg Paperback, 130mm x 200mm, 744 pages. Published 2005
Brilliant young naval officer Robert Fitzroy is given the captaincy of the HMS Beagle, surveying the wilds of Tierra del Fuego, aged just 23. He takes a passenger: a young trainee cleric and amateur geologist named Charles Darwin. This is the story of a deep friendship between two men, and the twin obsessions that tore it apart, leading one to triumph and the other to disaster...
Tory aristocrat Fitzroy was a staunch Christian who believed in the sanctity of the individual in a world created by God: Darwin the liberal cleric and natural historian went on to develop a theory of evolution that would cast doubt on the truth of the Bible and the descent of man. The friendship forged during their epic expeditions on land and sea turned into bitter enmity as Darwin's theories threatened to destroy everything Fitzroy stood for ...
(From the review from the Sunday Telelgraph) ..."This is an outstanding novel in every way. A page-turning action/adventure combined with subtle intellectual arguments"
NZ$35.00 + delivery.
THREE MEN IN A BOAT
By Jerome K Jerome. Pbk, 110mm x 180mm, 178 pages. 0.13kg. Orange Classic Published 2010
Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a
jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a 'T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict
the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks –
not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency.
NZ$20.00 + delivery.
THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS
By Erskine Childers. Pbk, 128mm x 198mm, 327 pages.
I make absolutely no apologies for enthusing about this little story since it is without doubt one of the all-time yachting and nautical classics. Written in 1903 (the year of the Wright brothers first powered flight), at the time when sea-power measured supremacy, it had profound political results. Via the narrative it was a major factor in alerting Great Britain to the dangers of German invasion - until this time it was France that had always been regarded as Britain's natural military threat. Also the concept of what became the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was conceived and recommended in the story.
The action takes place during late summer and autumn off the sands to the east of the North Sea along that short stretch of German coastline. It concerns two young men - one a rather eccentric English yachtsman and the other a smart and (in modern terms) upwardly mobile Foreign Office civil servant. Together they discover and investigate a German plan to invade England from the protected inlets along a stretch of the German coastline, landing at the deserted marshes and low country of East Anglia.
Erskine Childers himself loved sailing about the Friesian coast where most of the action takes place, and the story is an absolute delight in it's descriptions of the two yachtsmen managing their small craft amongst the tides and October storms in these very difficult waters.
The Irish author himself became the victim of politics and was shot dead during the Irish problems in the 1920's.
NZ$25.00 + delivery.