The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny
By Mike Dash
Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780609807163, 512pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2003
The company also sent along a new employee to guard its treasure. He was Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a disgraced and bankrupt man with great charisma and dangerously heretical ideas. With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, he hatched a plot to seize the ship and her riches. The mutiny might have succeeded, but in the dark morning hours of June 3, 1629, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The captain and skipper escaped the wreck, and in a tiny lifeboat they set sail for Java some 1,500 miles north to summon help. More than 250 frightened survivors waded ashore, thankful to be alive. Unfortunately, Jeronimus and the mutineers had survived too, and the nightmare was only beginning.
“Brilliantly crafted, deeply researched . . . a gruesome and powerfully written history. [Dash] provides a thorough look at the underlying subject of all expedition stories—the human heart.” —Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
“Horrific and mesmerizing . . . No history I’ve read in years places you so deeply inside a piece of the past.”—National Geographic Adventure
“Scholarly and exhilarating. Not only history, but an enthralling sea yarn and true-crime thriller.” —Associated Press
“I read it in one sitting, absolutely enchanted.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch