Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nathaniel's Nutmeg by Giles Milton

First sentence:

"The island can be smelled before it can be seen."


"The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago--remote, tranquil, and now largely ignored. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, however, Run's harvest of nutmeg turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a fierce and bloody battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and a small band of ragtag British adventurers led by the intrepid Nathaniel Courthope. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland, but in return was given another small island, Manhattan.

A brilliant adventure story of unthinkable hardship and savagery, the navigation of uncharted waters, and the exploitation of new worlds, Nathaniel's Nutmeg is a remarkable chapter in the history of the colonial powers." -- from

My thoughts:

Engaging and informative, this history of the English-Dutch conflict over the spice trade kept my interest throughout the book. I had known a little about how important spices were, and how the search for a new way to the Far East led to Columbus' voyages, but I didn't know all the details about the hardships the merchants and sailors went through.

Date read: 7/17/2008
Book #: 45
Challenges: What's in a Name? Challenge, Non-Fiction Five Challenge 2008
Rating: 3*/5
Genre: History

ISBN-10: 0340696761
ISBN-13: 9780340696767
Publisher: Sceptre
Year: 2000
# of Pages: 373
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing Page

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