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Over the centuries, the Pacific has become one of the most important oceans for transport and trade in the world and has borne witness to major historic events. Looking back at those who have journeyed across it over time, renowned historian Jeremy Black unearths the stories, both of triumph and of tragedy, that led to the Pacific becoming an ocean of discoveries.
Beginning with the countries and continents that were yet undiscovered by Europeans, Black analyses the pivotal relationship the Pacific has within world history and culture. From the discoveries by British navigator James Cook and the power struggles of empires, to the influence of the Americas and agreements made between competing nations. Black explores the many paths that led to the Pacific’s place in history.
As much a traveller’s companion as it is a must-read for history lovers, A brief history of the Pacific is an intelligent page-turner that invites you to travel across these shores as you discover the tales of its past and future.
NZ$30.00 + delivery.
In 1808, an American merchant ship happened upon an uncharted island in the South Pacific and unwittingly solved the biggest nautical mystery of the era: the whereabouts of a band of fugitives who, after seizing their vessel, had disappeared into the night with their Tahitian companions.
In 2018, Brandon Presser went to live among its families; two clans bound by circumstance and secrets. There, he pieced together Pitcairn's full story: an operatic saga that holds all visitors in its mortal clutch – even the author. Seven generations later, the island is still inhabited by descendants of the original mutineers, marooned like modern castaways.
The Far Land goes beyond the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, offering an unprecedented glimpse at life on the fringes of civilisation, and how, perhaps, it's not so different from our own.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
As World War II loomed, almost two thousand amateur sailors signed up o the RNVSR with little idea of what would be expected of them and for how long they would serve, but knowing that they were offering to risk their lives for their country.
Some were famous (such as Peter Scott and Nevil Shute) but most (such as the author’s own father) were not. Some were wealthy (August Courtauld returned his pay to help the war effort) and others were not.
Whilst some had extensive sailing experience, others had very little, and few could ever had dreamed that they would end up acting in areas that were so far beyond their normal lives, as they found themselves commanding destroyers and submarines, and undertaking covert missions of sabotage.
Some undertook the dangerous daily drudgery of minesweeping, others tackled unexploded bombs, engaged the enemy in high-speed attacks or played key roles in Ian Fleming’s famous intelligence commandos
This varied crew of courageous men were given tasks requiring endurance, resourcefulness and quick thinking. Some died in the process, but for those who survived, their experiences inevitably changed them forever. Could their love of sailing and the sea survive the harsh realities of war?
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
When, in 1796, Calcutta-based Scottish merchants Campbell & Clark dispatched an Indian ship hurriedly renamed the Sydney Cove to the colony of New South Wales, they were hoping to make their fortune.
The ship’s speculative cargo was comprised of all sorts of goods to entice the new colony’s inhabitants, including 7000 gallons of rum. The merchants were planning to sell the liquor to the Rum Corp, which ruled the fledgling colony with an iron grip, despite the recent arrival of governor John Hunter.
But when the Sydney Cove went north of Van Diemen’s land, cargo master William Clark and sixteen other crew members were compelled to walk 600 miles to Sydney Town to get help to save the rest of the crew and the precious goods.
Assisted by at least six indigenous clans on his journey, Clark saw far more of the country than Joseph Banks ever did, and his eventual report to governor Hunter led to far-reaching consequences for the fledgling colony.
And the Rum? Some of it was Saved
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
The voyage of Rose de Freycinet, the stowaway who defied the French for love.
In 1814, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, nineteen-year-old Rose Pinon married handsome naval officer Louis de Freycinet. Three years later, unable to bear parting from her husband, she dressed in men's clothing and slipped secretly aboard his ship the day before it sailed on a voyage of scientific discovery to the South Seas. Living for three years as the sole female among 120 men, Rose de Freycinet defied not only bourgeois society's expectations of a woman in 1817, but also a strict prohibition against women sailing on French naval ships.
Whether dancing at governors' balls in distant colonies, or evading pirates and meeting armed Indigenous warriors on remote Australian shores, or surviving shipwreck in the wintry Falkland Islands, Rose used her quick pen to record her daily experiences, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the world and leave a record of her journey.
A story of courage, enduring love, curiosity and a spirit of adventure - and of the pivotal voyages that led to it - while revealing a uniquely female view into the hitherto largely male world of 19th-century life at sea.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
I feel the need to strip away the assumptions that clothe the historical figure of Jeanne Barret, to see the flesh and bones beneath, the beating heart and thinking brain of the person who lived and breathed but left no words for us to hear. Who was this woman?
When the first woman to circumnavigate the world completed her journey in 1776, she returned home without any fanfare at all.
Jeanne Barret, an impoverished peasant from Burgundy, disguised herself as a man and sailed on the 17783 Bougainville voyage as the naturalist’s assistant.
For over two centuries, the story of who this young woman was, why she left her home to undertake such a perilous journey and what happened when she returned has been shrouded in uncertainty.
Biologist and award-winning author Danielle Clode embarks on a journey to solve the mysteries surrounding Jeanne Barret. The result is an ode to the sea, to science and to one remarkable woman who. Like all explorers charted her own course for others to follow.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
For centuries, Ferdinand Magellan has been celebrated as a hero: a noble adventurer who circumnavigated the globe in an extraordinary feat of human bravery;
a paragon of daring and chivalry.
Historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto draws on extensive and meticulous research to conduct a dazzling investigation into Magellan's life, his character and his ill-fated voyage. He reveals that Magellan did not attempt – much less accomplish – a journey around the globe, and that in his own lifetime, the explorer was abhorred as a traitor, reviled as a tyrant and dismissed as a failure.
Offering up a stranger, darker and even more compelling narrative than the fictional version that has been glorified for half a millennium, Straits untangles the myths that made Magellan a hero....
NZ$25.00 + delivery.
Voyagers is a refreshing addition to the canon of literature that contemplates Oceanic navigation. Nicholas Thomas looks anew at early Western forays into the Pacific and at those such as Dampier and Cook who recognized not only the astounding long-distance capacity of Indigenous canoes, but that oceanic peoples were related.
He weaves together accounts of explorers and missionaries whose knowledge of Pacific geography was fundamentally informed by their island hosts. This notion of shared knowledge evinces not only Indigenous agency of the past, but a framework for the future.
Voyagers is at once global yet intimate, shaped by Thomas’ own Pacific journeys, and filled with wonderful images, historical and contemporary, that pay homage to Oceania’s profound relationship with the sea.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
Sir Joseph Banks was a man of passion whose influence spanned the globe. A fearless adventurer, his fascination with beautiful women was only trumped by his obsession with the natural world and his lust for scientific knowledge.
Fabulously wealthy, Banks was the driving force behind monumental voyages and scientific discoveries in Australia, New Zealand, the South pacific, Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and the Arctic. In 1768, as a galivanting young playboy, he joined Captain James Cook’s Endeavour expedition to the South Pacific. Financing his own team of scientists and artists, Banks battled high seas, hailstorms, treacherous coral reefs and hostile locals to expand the world’s knowledge of life on distant shores. He returned with thousands of specimens of plants and animals, generating enormous interest in Europe, while the racy accounts of his amorous adventures in Tahiti made him one of the most famous and notorious men in England.
As the longest-serving president of Britain’s Royal Society, Banks was perhaps the most important man in the scientific world for more than half a century. It was Banks, one of the first Europeans to set foot on Australia’s east coast, who advised Britain to establish a remote penal settlement and strategic base at Botany Bay, and he eventually became the foremost expert on everything Australian. Early governors in the colony answered to him as he set about unleashing Australia’s vast potential in agriculture and minerals. For decades, major British voyages of exploration around the globe only sailed with his backing.
Banks is a rich and rollicking biography of one of the most colourful and intriguing characters in the history of exploration.
NZ$45.00 + delivery.
A fascinating exploration of new and disappearing islands around the world.
New islands are being built at an unprecedented rate whether for tourism or territorial ambition, while many islands are disappearing because of rising sea levels or fragmenting due to shrinking ice.
It is a strange planetary spectacle, an ever-changing map which even Google Earth struggles to keep pace with. But it is also, Alastair Bonnett believes, a spectacle which is imprinting itself on our hopes and anxieties.
From a 'crannog', an ancient artificial island in a Scottish loch, to the militarized artificial islands China is building in the South China Sea, he sets out to explore some of the world's newest, most fragile and beautiful islands to find out why they have such a hold on our imaginations.
NZ$35.00 + delivery.
A mission to collect breadfruit from Tahiti becomes the most famous mutiny in history when the crew rise up against Captain William Bligh, with accusations of food restrictions and unfair punishments.
Bligh's remarkable journey back to safety is well documented, but the fates of the mutinous men remain shrouded in mystery. Some settled in Tahiti only to face capture and court martial, others sailed on to form a secret colony on Pitcairn Island, the most remote inhabited island on earth, avoiding detection for twenty years. When an American captain stumbled across the island in 1808, only one of the Bounty mutineers was left alive.
Told by a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian, Men Without Country details the journey of the Bounty, and the lives of the men aboard.
Lives dominated by a punishing regime of hard work and scarce rations,
and deeply divided by the hierarchy of class.
It is a tale of adventure and exploration punctuated by moments of extreme violence - towards each other and the people of the South Pacific.
A comprehensive and compelling account of the whole story - from the history of trade and exploration in the South Seas to Pitcairn Island, which provided the mutineers' salvation, and then became their grave.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
A saga of sex, sedition, mayhem and mutiny, and survival against extraordinary odds
The mutiny on HMS Bounty, in the South Pacific on 28 April 1789, is one of history's truly great stories - a tale of human drama, intrigue and adventure of the highest order - and in the hands of Peter FitzSimons it comes to life as never before.
Commissioned by the Royal Navy to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti and take them to the West Indies, the Bounty's crew found themselves in a tropical paradise. Five months later, they did not want to leave. Under the leadership of Fletcher Christian most of the crew mutinied soon after sailing from Tahiti, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen adrift in a small open boat. In one of history's great feats of seamanship, Bligh navigated this tiny vessel for 3618 nautical miles to Timor.
Fletcher Christian and the mutineers sailed back to Tahiti, where most remained and were later tried for mutiny. But Christian, along with eight fellow mutineers and some Tahitian men and women, sailed off into the unknown, eventually discovering the isolated Pitcairn Island - at the time not even marked on British maps - and settling there.
This astonishing story is historical adventure at its very best,encompassing the mutiny, Bligh's monumental achievement in navigating to safety, and Fletcher Christian and the mutineers' own epic journey from the sensual paradise of Tahiti to the outpost of Pitcairn Island. The mutineers' descendants live on Pitcairn to this day, amid swirling stories and rumours of past sexual transgressions and present-day repercussions. Mutiny on the Bounty is a sprawling, dramatic tale of intrigue, bravery and sheer boldness, told with the accuracy of historical detail and total command of story that are Peter FitzSimons' trademarks.
NZ$40.00 + delivery.
On 28th April 1789 a small and unremarkable merchant vessel became one of the most famous ships in maritime history. HMS Bounty was under the command of 34-year-old Lieutenant William Bligh, an inexperienced commander who lacked the respect of a crew attracted to the promise of an easy life in a Tahitian paradise...
Fletcher Christian led half the crew in mutiny against Bligh and after overpowering all resistance, they cast their deposed captain adrift along with those still loyal to him. Luckily for Bligh, his skills as a navigator were better than his skills as a captain and he managed to sail the 23ft boat 3,618 nautical miles to Timor in the Dutch East Indies with no chart or compass, and only a quadrant and a pocket watch for navigation. On returning to England he reported what had happened, and the Royal Navy hunted down and captured most of the mutineers.
This book gives the fullest version of the mutiny, allowing Bligh's account to sit alongside those of his detractors. The discrepancies are fascinating, and allow us to make up our own minds about this infamous mutiny.
NZ$30.00 + Delivery
For more than a century and a half, a grim tale has passed down through Michael Veitch’s family: the story of the Ticonderoga, a clipper ship that sailed from Liverpool in August 1852, crammed with poor but hopeful emigrants – mostly Scottish victims of the Clearances and the potato famine. A better life, they believed, awaited them in Australia.
Three months later, a ghost ship crept into Port Phillip Bay flying the dreaded yellow flag of contagion. On her horrific three-month voyage, deadly typhus had erupted, killing a quarter of Ticonderoga’s passengers and leaving many more desperately ill. Sharks, it was said, had followed her passage as the victims were buried at sea.
Panic struck Melbourne. Forbidden to dock at the gold-boom town, the ship was directed to a lonely beach on the far tip of the Mornington peninsula, a place now called Ticonderoga Bay
James Henry William Veitch was the ship’s assistant surgeon, on his first appointment at sea. Among the volunteers who helped him tend to the sick and dying was a young woman from the island of Mull, Annie Morrison. What happened between them on that terrible voyage is a testament to human resilience and to love.
Michael Veitch is their great-great-grandson, and Hell Ship is his brilliantly researched narrative of one of the biggest stories of its day, now all but forgotten. Broader than his own family’s story, it brings to life the hardships and horrors endured by those who came by sea to seek a new life in Australia.
NZ$25.00 + Delivery
Norfolk Island isolation, savagery, mystery and murder.
Aren t remote South Pacific islands supposed to be paradise? Perhaps, from a distance, Norfolk Island looks a peaceful place lush with tall pines. But look closer and that idyllic facade is shattered.
For all of the 220 years we have known it, Norfolk's story has been one of darkness, pain, rage and horror. Long-buried bones and axes hint at the violence before Captain Cook arrived and claimed the place for England. And then the horror truly began. From its earliest days, the isolation of life on this rocky outcrop took its toll.
Author Robert Macklin, tells the vivid, bewitching story of how a unique lifestyle and culture evolved amongst the almost two thousand inhabitants. From a brutal penal colony, a refuge for descendants of the Bounty mutineers when they outgrew Pitcairn Island in 1856, to the murder of Janelle Patton in 2002, Norfolk Island is exposed like never before. A place full of shadows and wrongful deaths, its history is a mesmerising tale all the more powerful because it is true.
NZ$30.00 + Delivery
The incredible voyage of a shipload of "disorderly girls" and the men who transported them, fell for them, and sold them.
This riveting work of rediscovered history tells for the first time the plight of the female convicts aboard the Lady Julian, which set sail from England in 1789 and arrived in Australia's Botany Bay a year later. The women, most of them petty criminals, were destined for New South Wales to provide its hordes of lonely men with sexual favors as well as progeny. But the story of their voyage is even more incredible, and here it is expertly told by a historian with roots in the boatbuilding business and a true love of the sea.
Siân Rees delved into court documents and firsthand accounts to extract the stories of these women's experiences on board a ship that both held them prisoner and offered them refuge from their oppressive existence in London. At the heart of the story is the passionate relationship between Sarah Whitelam, a convict, and the ship's steward, John Nicol, whose personal journals provided much of the material for this book. Along the way, Rees brings the vibrant, bawdy world of London -- and the sights, smells, and sounds of an eighteenth-century ship -- vividly to life. In the tradition of Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, this is a winning combination of dramatic high seas adventure and untold history.
NZ$30.00 + Delivery
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