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Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventure of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History

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Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventure of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History Cover

ISBN13: 9780140292602
ISBN10: 0140292608
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A true tale of high adventure in the South Seas.

The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago. Just two miles long and half a mile wide, it is remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored.

Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland but in return was given Manhattan. This led not only to the birth of New York but also to the beginning of the British Empire.

Such a deal was due to the persistence of one man. Nathaniel Courthope and his small band of adventurers were sent to Run in October 1616, and for four years held off the massive Dutch navy. Nathaniel's Nutmeg centers on the remarkable showdown between Courthope and the Dutch Governor General Jan Coen, and the brutal fate of the mariners racing to Run-and the other corners of the globe-to reap the huge profits of the spice trade. Written with the flair of a historical sea novel but based on rigorous research, Nathaniel's Nutmeg is a brilliant adventure story by a writer who has been hailed as the "new Bruce Chatwin" (Mail on Sunday).

Review:

"An exciting account of the dangerous voyages, bizarre transactions and desperate battles of the Spice Wars." The Washington Post

Review:

"Fascinating...an epic tale, told superbly...There is plenty of gore, chance, and piracy to the story." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"This is a high adventure — pirates and cannons and pieces of eight....A work of prodigious research, and a fascinatingly seminal tidbit of New York history." New York Newsday

Review:

"[A] rousing historical romp. Milton leaves one both yearning for a time when the world seemed full of infinite adventure and appalled by what greed did to such a paradise." The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

This "rousing, historical romp" ("The New York Times Book Review") introducesreaders to Run, a tiny island in the middle of an Indonesian archipelago--andthe fierce spice wars that surrounded it. NPR sponsorship.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Giles Milton is the author of The Riddle and the Knight, a critically acclaimed history of the explorer Sir John Mandeville.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Illustrations and Maps

Prologue

1. Arctic Whirlwinds

2. Wonderfully Unwholesome Climes

3. Music and Dancing Damsels

4. In the Paws of the Lion

5. "Admiral, We Are Betrayed!"

6. A Rebel at Sea

7. The Cannibals' Country

8. The Banner of Saint George

9. Conflict Between Gentlemen

10. Raising the Blood-Flag

11. Trial by Fire and Water

12. Striking a Deal

13. Epilogue

Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Rashidah, January 9, 2013 (view all comments by Rashidah)
I am from Malaysia where spices are a very important part of our culinary and medicinal practices. It was very fascinating to read a book about how spices. including nutmeg played a pivotal role in the Western exploration of Asia especially south east Asia.
So many risked long journeys to uncharted areas to look for spice locations, and secure control over them. And all this took place hundreds of years ago!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
dtrrimble77, April 5, 2009 (view all comments by dtrrimble77)
The book was very detailed in its historical facts. I was amazed at how much people were willing to risk everything for a spice today is taken for granted.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
itpdx, March 30, 2009 (view all comments by itpdx)
Very interesting! The story of the spice race. Who knew that the sprinkle of nutmeg on my holiday eggnog had such a long, adventurous and tragic history? Men endured dangerous voyages, deadly illnesses, sieges, battles, torture and executions for the possession of a handful of backwater islands where nutmeg grows because nutmeg and other spices represented huge profits.

Milton does an excellent job of bringing the history of the spice trade to life.

I would have liked a time line. He necessarily goes back and forth in time to bring us coherent stories of various voyages, explorations and peoples' histories. But I would have liked to be able to see what was happening in the "spiceries" while Barents was eating polar bear liver in the Russian arctic, without having to rely on my poor memory for dates.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140292602
Author:
Milton, Giles
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Adventurers & Explorers
Subject:
Asia - General
Subject:
Asia
Subject:
Maritime History
Subject:
Indonesia
Subject:
World - Colonial Studies
Subject:
Spice trade
Subject:
Nutmeg industry
Subject:
Maluku
Subject:
Modern - 17th Century
Subject:
World History-1650 to Present
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series Volume:
31
Publication Date:
20000731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
7.70x5.14x.73 in. .60 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
Cooking and Food » Diet and Nutrition » Healthy Cooking
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » Asia » Indonesia Malaysia and Singapore
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Southeast Asia
Travel » Travel Writing » Exploration

Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventure of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140292602 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An exciting account of the dangerous voyages, bizarre transactions and desperate battles of the Spice Wars."
"Review" by , "Fascinating...an epic tale, told superbly...There is plenty of gore, chance, and piracy to the story."
"Review" by , "This is a high adventure — pirates and cannons and pieces of eight....A work of prodigious research, and a fascinatingly seminal tidbit of New York history."
"Review" by , "[A] rousing historical romp. Milton leaves one both yearning for a time when the world seemed full of infinite adventure and appalled by what greed did to such a paradise."
"Synopsis" by , This "rousing, historical romp" ("The New York Times Book Review") introducesreaders to Run, a tiny island in the middle of an Indonesian archipelago--andthe fierce spice wars that surrounded it. NPR sponsorship.
"Synopsis" by ,
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.
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