Crusoe's Island

Crusoe's Island

Last 1 in stock
ISBN
9780571330249
Published
03/08/2017
9780571330249
Format
Paperback
Price
£8.99
Paperback
320

About the Book

Originally named Juan Fernández, the island of Robinson Crusoe in the South Pacific was the inspiration for Defoe’s classic novel about the adventures of a shipwrecked sailor. Yet the complex story of Britain’s relationship with this distant, tiny island is more surprising, more colourful and considerably darker. Drawing on voyage accounts, journal entries, maps and illustrations, acclaimed historian Andrew Lambert brings to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists, from the early encounters of the 1500s and the perilous journeys of the eighteenth-century explorers, to the naval conflicts of the First World War and the environmental concerns of more recent years. Crusoe’s Island explores why we are still not willing to give up on the specks of land at the far ends of the earth.
Originally named Juan Fernández, the island of Robinson Crusoe in the South Pacific was the inspiration for Defoe’s classic novel about the adventures of a shipwrecked sailor. Yet the complex story of Britain’s relationship with this distant, tiny island is more surprising, more colourful and considerably darker. Drawing on voyage accounts, journal entries, maps and illustrations, acclaimed historian Andrew Lambert brings to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists, from the early encounters of the 1500s and the perilous journeys of the eighteenth-century explorers, to the naval conflicts of the First World War and the environmental concerns of more recent years. Crusoe’s Island explores why we are still not willing to give up on the specks of land at the far ends of the earth.
  • Andrew Lambert

    Andrew Lambert is Professor of Naval History at King's College, London. His books include Nelson: Britannia's God of War, Admirals: The Naval Commanders Who Made Britain Great and Franklin: Tragic Hero of Polar Exploration. His highly successful history of the British Navy, War at Sea, was broadcast on BBC Two.

“[An] intriguing, wide-ranging book...[Lambert's] narrative of Juan Fernandez's history takes in privateers in search of Spanish gold, scurvy ridden sailors recovering their health in a Pacific Eden, a penal colony nearly wiped out by earthquake and tsunami, and German and British warships exchanging fire during the First World War ... [Crusoe's Island] show[s] why this tiny speck in the Pacific has played a larger role on the world's stage than its size seems to warrant.”
- Sunday Times
“Engaging ... Lambert traces the development of the seesaw relationship between Britain and [the Juan Fernandez archipelago] ... As the EU totters and our union falters, Lambert's enquiry begins to feel less like a foray into the past and more like an urgent investigation into that strange blend of qualities that bound Britain together in the first place.”
- Literary Review

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