The Fendrick Library


Wager, The : A Tale Of Shipwreck, Mutiny, And Murder

Grann, David

Resource Type: Rental Books
Edition: First edition.
Varying Form of Title: Tale of shipwreck, mutiny and murder
Publisher: Doubleday
Place of Pub: New York
Date Published: 2023
ISBN: 0385534264

Maps on lining pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-313) and index. Prologue -- Part one: The wooden world. The first lieutenant ; A gentleman volunteer ; The gunner -- Part two: Into the storm. Dead reckoning ; The storm within the storm ; Alone ; The gulf of pain -- Part three: Castaways. Wreckage ; The beast ; Our new town ; Nomads of the sea ; The Lord of Mount Misery ; Extremities ; Affections of the people ; The ark ; My mutineers -- Part four: Deliverance. Byron's choice ; Port of God's Mercy ; The haunting ; The day of our deliverance -- Part five: Judgment. A literary rebellion ; The prize ; Grub Street hacks ; The docket ; The court-martial ; The version that won -- Epilogue. "From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z, a mesmerizing story of shipwreck, survival, and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth. On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty's Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as "the prize of all the oceans," it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing 2500 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes. But then ... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they had a very different story to tell. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes--they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous captain and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death-for whomever the court found guilty could hang. The Wager is a grand tale of human behavior at the extremes told by one of our greatest nonfiction writers. Grann's recreation of the hidden world on a British warship rivals the work of Patrick O'Brian, his portrayal of the castaways' desperate straits stands up to the classics of survival writing such as The Endurance, and his account of the court martial has the savvy of a Scott Turow thriller. As always with Grann's work, the incredible twists of the narrative hold the reader spellbound. Most powerfully, he unearths the deeper meaning of the events, showing that it was not only the Wager's captain and crew who were on trial--it was the very idea of empire"--


1. Wager (Ship); 2. Shipwrecks -- Patagonia (Argentina and Chile); 3. Shipwreck victims -- Patagonia (Argentina and Chile); 4. Shipwreck victims -- Great Britain.; 5. Mutiny -- Great Britain.; 6. Mutiny.; 7. Shipwreck victims.; 8. Shipwrecks.; 9. Great Britain.; 10. South America -- Patagonia.; 11. Military offenses.;

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