Island of the Lost: An Extraordinary Story of Survival at the Edge of the World

By Joan Druett

Available

Description

"Riveting." --The New York Times Book Review Hundreds of miles from civilization, two ships wreck on opposite ends of the same deserted island in this true story of human nature at its best--and at its worst.

It is 1864, and Captain Thomas Musgrave's schooner, the Grafton, has just wrecked on Auckland Island, a forbidding piece of land 285 miles south of New Zealand. Battered by year-round freezing rain and constant winds, it is one of the most inhospitable places on earth. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.

Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island, another ship runs aground during a storm. Separated by only twenty miles and the island's treacherous, impassable cliffs, the crews of the Grafton and the Invercauld face the same fate. And yet where the Invercauld's crew turns inward on itself, fighting, starving, and even turning to cannibalism, Musgrave's crew bands together to build a cabin and a forge--and eventually, to find a way to escape.

Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings to life this extraordinary untold story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.

Product Details

Price: $16.95  $15.59
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Published Date: August 06, 2019
Pages: 304
Dimensions: 5.4 X 0.7 X 8.2 inches | 0.55 pounds
ISBN: 9781616209704
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Joan Druett is an independent maritime historian and writer, married to Ron Druett, a highly regarded maritime artist. In 1986 she travelled to museums in the United States on a Fulbright Cultural Fellowship, to research the lives of women at sea. This led to three ground-breaking books, Petticoat Whalers, She Was a Sister Sailor, and Hen Frigates, all prize-winners. She Was a Sister Sailor received the John Lyman Award for Best Book of Maritime History; Petticoat Whalers (with a later book, She Captains) won the L. Byrne Waterman Award, and Hen Frigates received a New York Public Library Best Book to Remember Award. In 1992, with the aid of a Creative New Zealand grant, Joan returned to the United States, where she was a consultant for a museum exhibit, "The Sailing Circle," which received the Albert Corey Award, which is infrequently granted by the American Association for State and Local History for works "that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination." Returning to New Zealand in 1996, another Creative New Zealand grant enabled her to research castaway depots and wrecks in the sealing islands of the sub-Antarctic. This led to a Stout Fellowship at Victoria University, which she took up in 2001, and a best-selling book about a double wreck on Auckland Island in 1865, Island of the Lost, which has become a classic in the castaway genre, and is used as a text in universities in the United States and Australia. In 2009, a major Creative New Zealand grant enabled her to research the life of Tupaia, the extraordinary priest, orator and navigator, who guided Captain Cook on the Endeavour voyage, both at sea and through tricky intercultural situations on land, particularly in New Zealand, where Tupaia's actions undoubtedly saved lives, both Maori and European.

Reviews

"One of the finest survival stories I've read." --Seattle Times

"If the southern part of Auckland Island is all Robinson Crusoe, the northern part is more Lord of the Flies . . . Druett is an able and thorough guide . . . [She] shows that real leadership is rare and powerful." --The New York Times Book Review

"Druett's well-researched account earns its place in any good collection of survival literature." --Entertainment Weekly

"Those yearning for a classic man vs. nature, triumph-over-terrible-odds story, get ready to set sail." --Paste

"Swashbuckling maritime history reanimated by a noted naval enthusiast . . . Druett excels at recreating the men's struggles and desperation (tempered by boundless hope)." --Kirkus Reviews

"This is a fine addition to the genre of survival tales like Endurance or In the Heart of the Sea." --Publishers Weekly