The extraordinary adventure-filled story of how England came to own Manhattan in the seventeenth century.
In 1616, an English adventurer, Nathaniel Courthope, stepped ashore on a remote island in the East Indies on a secret mission - to persuade the islanders of Run to grant a monopoly to England over their nutmeg, a fabulously valuable spice in Europe. This infuriated the Dutch, who were determined to control the world's nutmeg supply. For five years Courthope and his band of thirty men were besieged by a force one hundred times greater - and his heroism set in motion the events that led to the founding of the greatest city on earth.
A beautifully told adventure story and a fascinating depiction of exploration in the seventeenth century, Nathaniel's Nutmeg sheds a remarkable light on history.
About the Author
Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram and Russian Roulette. He has also written three novels and three children's books. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in south London.
'A magnificent piece of popular history...This is a book to read, reread, then read again to your children.'
Nicholas Fearn, Independent on Sunday
'Beautifully touching...To write a book that makes the reader, after finishing it, sit in a trance, lost in his passionate desire to pack a suitcase and go, somehow, to the fabulous place - that, in the end, is something one would give a sack of nutmeg for.'
Philip Hensher, Spectator
'Giles Milton tells his adventurous and sometimes grisly tale with relish...The thoroughness and intelligence of his research underpins the lively confidence with which he deploys it.'
John Spurling, Times Literary Supplement
'Milton has created a truly gripping tale of jingoistic pride, atrocious cruelty, avarice and double-dealing!His research is impeccable and his narrative reads in part like a modern-day Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Once embarked upon the journey of the book, one is loath, sometimes unable -- as were the characters within it -- to turn back and abandon it.'
Martin Booth, Sunday Times