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Batavia - Peter FitzSimons

Paperback

Published: 1st August 2012
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RRP $34.99
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The greatest story in Australia’s history.

The Shipwreck of the Batavia combines in just the one tale the birth of the world's first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good vs evil, the derring-do of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples and so much more.

Described by author Peter FitzSimons as "a true Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meeting Nightmare on Elm Street," the story is set in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland. The magnificent ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to break into the open when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night.

While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the long-boat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 250 people on a small island is unwieldy for the small number of supplies they have. Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40 odd mutineers how they could save themselves, kill most of the rest and spare only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jansz - one of the noted beauties of Holland - to service their sexual needs. A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those are prepared to do what it takes to survive . . . hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon be coming back to them with the rescue yacht.

It all happened, long ago, and it is for a very good reason that Peter FitzSimons has long maintained that this is "far and away the greatest story in Australia's history, if not the world's." FitzSimons unique writing style has made him the country's best-selling non-fiction writer over the last ten years, and he is perfect man to make this bloody, chilling, stunning tale come alive.

About the Author

Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald. He is the author of over twenty books - including Tobruk, Kokoda and biographies of Nancy Wake' Kim Beazley' Nene King' Nick Farr-Jones' Steve Waugh and John Eales - and was Australia's bestselling non-fiction writer in 2001 and 2004.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Batavia
 
4.5

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Everyday reader (3)

      Reviewed by 4 customers

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great Read, story that should be told

      By Bokonon

      from Sydney Au

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Absorbing
      • Broad Appeal
      • Continually Relevant
      • Important Australian Story
      • Reveals Ugly Side Of Humanity
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday read
        • Ruin Someone's Weekend

        Comments about Batavia:

        I bought this book to read over the holdays and because I really enjoy the authors journalism. First book of Peter Fitzsimons I have read and wont be the last.

        The story manages to simultaneously amuse, horrify, inspire and inform. Definitely confronting about human nature when under pressure, I also finally understand all those references to the spice islands and trade winds that my education failed to put into context

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        A fascinatingly dark piece of history!

        By Uncle Jimi's nephew

        from Sydney, AU

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Understand
        • Grounded In Fact
        • Well Written

        Cons

        • Limited Appeal

        Best Uses

        • History buffs
        • Older Readers
        • Reference

        Comments about Batavia:

        A fascinating insight into human behaviour. How circumstances and shifts in power can turn civilised people into savages. Real history not unlike "The Lord of the Flies".

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        A gripping account

        By Bookish

        from Qld

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deeply Informative
        • Great If Gruesome Tale
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Older Readers

          Comments about Batavia:

          Illuminates a little known event in history.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          stunning tale of murder

          By Oshkie

          from Sydney

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deeply Informative

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Reference

            Comments about Batavia:

            It's wonderful to have Australian history in the raw like this, so readable, well researched and yet impossible to put down.

            Comment on this review

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            ISBN: 9781864711349
            ISBN-10: 1864711345
            Audience: General
            Format: Paperback
            Language: English
            Number Of Pages: 512
            Published: 1st August 2012
            Publisher: Random House Australia
            Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.3  x 4.0
            Weight (kg): 0.71

            Peter FitzSimons

            Peter FitzSimons is one of Australia’s most prominent and successful media and publishing identities.

            His busy professional life involves writing weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, appearing on Foxtel's The Back Page television show and, when time permits, authoring best-selling books. A correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph as well, he is also in high demand as a guest speaker and presenter.

            For the past two decades, the much-traveled former Wallaby rugby international, who masters four languages, has interviewed some of the world's most famous figures, including former US President George Bush, Mother Theresa and football great Diego Maradona.

            Writing is his passion. He is the biographer of World Cup winning Wallaby captains Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, former Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, war heroine Nancy Wake, former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and magazine queen Nene King.

            In 2001 he was Australia's biggest selling non-fiction author with just under 250,000 sales. He duplicated that feat in 2004 with his book on Kokoda and had similar success in 2006 with his book on Tobruk.

            Born on a farm in NSW's Central Coast, Peter FitzSimons attended Knox Grammar School in Sydney before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to live in Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an arts degree at Sydney University, majoring in government and political science.

            A second-rower, he won Wallaby selection in 1984, later moving to France and Italy where he played rugby for the next five years. On his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies going on to play seven Test matches.

            He launched his journalistic career with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989. Two years later he released two best-selling books, Basking in Beirut and Little Theories of Life and signed a contract with the Nine Network that resulted in him presenting current affairs and sports programs for the next four years. His association with Foxtel commenced in 1995 and continues to this day.

            Considered one of the ten most popular after-dinner speakers in Australia, Peter FitzSimons is married to Nine Network personality Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.

            To read Peters’s revealing answers to the Booktopia Book Guru’s TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS…and to leave a comment - CLICK HERE

            Visit Peter FitzSimons's Booktopia Author Page