For all fans of Master and Commander and the novels of Patrick O'Brien. Supported by a GBP20,000 press campaign in the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Guardian and Mail on Sunday with page dominant, eye-catching creative ads. Hardback has sold 16,000 copies to date. Caroline Alexander is the author of the bestselling Endurance. The success of Endurance sparked the Shackleton publishing phenomenon, and her book has been made into both a TV documentary and a Working Title film.
Caroline Alexander was born in Florida, of British parents, and has lived in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. She studied Philosophy and Theology at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and has a doctorate in Classics from Columbia University. She is the author of the bestselling The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition which has been translated into thirteen languages. She writes frequently for The New Yorker and The National Geographic, and she is the author of four other books, including Mr Chippy's Last Expedition, the journal of the Endurance's ship's cat.
A contributor to the New Yorker, Granta, Cond? Nast Traveler and National Geographic, Alexander brings the past to life with travel narratives spanning continents and centuries. Alexander (The Endurance) again recreates a high seas voyage, retelling a familiar story-of the South Pacific misadventures of the small British naval vessel the Bounty-yet taking a fresh look at the drama. Commanded by William Bligh, the Bounty left England in December 1787 to transport breadfruit trees from Tahiti to the West Indies. During the 1789 mutiny, Bligh and crew members were set adrift in an open boat and eventually returned to England. Bligh-who up until now has been viewed as a tyrant-was praised at the time, Alexander finds, since "no feat of seamanship was deemed to surpass Bligh's navigation and command of The Bounty's 23-foot-long launch, and few feats of survival compared with his men's forty-eight-day ordeal on starvation rations." Alexander's reconstruction of the mutiny and its aftermath (thanks to her exhaustive research through books, reports, newspapers, correspondence, historical societies and archives) is almost as remarkable as Bligh's feat. She details daily events during the captured mutineers' court-martial, expanding on court transcripts. Separating facts from falsehoods and myths in the closing chapters, she finally turns to the life of the mutineers on Pitcairn Island, noting "this fantastic tale of escape to paradise at the far end of the world had the allure of something epic." Alexander's work is destined to become the definitive, enthralling history of a great seafaring adventure. Maps and illus. not seen by PW. (On sale Sept. 15) Forecast: Ads, a 15-city author tour, a 20-city radio satellite tour and first serial in the New Yorker are sure to send readers sailing into bookstores. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
'With this and her previous book, The Endurance, she has made the wondrous genre of open-boat-voyage narratives still more wondrous...This sounds like Conrad writing. A sea mist hangs over this age-old tale. Alexander dispels it, to the reader's fascination. But when the facts are told and the fates of the cast duly chronicled, the sea mist settles in again, as impenetrable and yet more interesting than it has ever been.' New York Times Book Review 'Alexander...handles the story with great thoroughness and calm. She appears to have unearthed and examined every possible shred of evidence, and it is difficult to imagine that this will not long remain the definitive account...what Alexander does here superbly, what is new to this account, and what makes this simple story worth examining in such detail, is her revelation of how the myth grew from unsubstantiated scraps, who founded and nourished it, and why.' Peter Nichols, Sunday Times 'This book should find an enduring place as the definitive rendering, and its appearance should elevate Caroline Alexander to the ranks of the finest historians of teh most romantic, and most romanticised, period in British Imperial history.' Simon Winchester, Daily Telegraph 'Alexander profiles history's most famous mutiny in the same stylish manner she brought to Shackleton's Antarctic expedition in The Endurance...A great sea story, surpassed perhaps only by the Odyssey, handled with dexterity to capture characters and circumstances with faithfulness to the record and a steady feeling of anticipation for history in the making.' Kirkus Reviews
Alexander sold 750,000 copies of The Endurance in hardcover alone, so following up with the tale of another shipboard tragedy was probably smart. A 15-city author tour; first serial to The New Yorker. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.