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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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4 Burnside Asia- Pacific Islands

Lost Paradise: From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed

by

Lost Paradise: From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Pitcairn Island — remote and wild in the South Pacific, a place of towering cliffs and lashing surf — is home to descendants of Fletcher Christian and the Mutiny on the Bounty crew, who fled there with a group of Tahitian maidens after deposing their captain, William Bligh, and seizing his ship in 1789.

Shrouded in myth, the island was idealized by outsiders, who considered it a tropical Shangri-La. But as the world was to discover two centuries after the mutiny, it was also a place of sinister secrets. In this riveting account, Kathy Marks tells the disturbing saga and asks profound questions about human behavior.

In 2000, police descended on the British territory — a lump of volcanic rock hundreds of miles from the nearest inhabited land — to investigate an allegation of rape of a fifteen-year-old girl. They found themselves speaking to dozens of women and uncovering a trail of child abuse dating back at least three generations.

Scarcely a Pitcairn man was untainted by the allegations, it seemed, and barely a girl growing up on the island, home to just forty-seven people, had escaped. Yet most islanders, including the victims' mothers, feigned ignorance or claimed it was South Pacific "culture" — the Pitcairn "way of life."

The ensuing trials would tear the close-knit, interrelated community apart, for every family contained an offender or a victim — often both. The very future of the island, dependent on its men and their prowess in the longboats, appeared at risk. The islanders were resentful toward British authorities, whom they regarded as colonialists, and the newly arrived newspeople, who asked nettlesome questions and whose daily dispatches were closely scrutinized on the Internet.

The court case commanded worldwide attention. And as a succession of men passed through Pitcairn's makeshift courtroom, disturbing questions surfaced. How had the abuse remained hidden so long? Was it inevitable in such a place? Was Pitcairn a real-life Lord of the Flies?

One of only six journalists to cover the trials, Marks lived on Pitcairn for six weeks, with the accused men as her neighbors. She depicts, vividly, the attractions and everyday difficulties of living on a remote tropical island. Moreover, outside court, she had daily encounters with the islanders, not all of them civil, and observed firsthand how the tiny, claustrophobic community ticked: the gossip, the feuding, the claustrophobic intimacy — and the power dynamics that had allowed the abuse to flourish.

Marks followed the legal and human saga through to its recent conclusion. She uncovers a society gone badly astray, leaving lives shattered and codes broken: a paradise truly lost.

Review:

"Pitcairn Island was first settled more than 200 years ago by Fletcher Christian and other mutinous crew members of the HMS Bounty, along with several Polynesian women from neighboring islands; the community has always been small, but a mythology has built up around it as a remote, idyllic paradise. 'Pitcairn is thoroughly civilized,' agrees Marks, a British journalist based in Australia, 'except in one respect... children were almost routinely raped and assaulted.' In 2004, Marks was one of just six journalists allowed on Pitcairn to cover the trials of several islanders accused of repeated sexual abuse of teenage and preadolescent girls; her eyewitness accounts of the proceedings, and the hostility of Pitcairners, still subject to British laws, who believed their entire society was under persecution by the outside world, is gripping. She systematically demolishes the argument that Pitcairn was a different culture, where 'underage sex was the norm,' and considers why outside observers — from the British government to local schoolteachers and priests — let the abuse continue unchecked for decades. The crimes are disturbing enough, but the Pitcairn community's rallying around its most brutal sexual predators, and their relatively light punishment, is a truly unsettling story, even in Marks's restrained retelling." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

On the South Seas island made famous by "Mutiny on the Bounty, Lost Paradise" chronicles life in a remote community, offering a horrifying glimpse at the darkness of human nature, where an unregulated society descends into savagery. b&w photos.

About the Author

Kathy Marks is Asia-Pacific correspondent for the London-based Independent newspaper. She is a reporter, feature writer, and columnist with more than twenty years of experience. This is her first book. She is currently based in Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

Author's Note

Cast of Characters

Family Trees

Christian clan

Brown family

Warren clan

Young family

Prologue

PART 1

ON THE ISLAND

1 A Surreal Little Universe in the Middle of Nowhere

2 Mutiny, Murder, and Myth-Making

3 Opening a Right Can of Worms

4 No Amnesty

5 The Fiefdom and Its Leader

6 The Propaganda Campaign Starts

7 Key Witnesses Evaporate

8 The Trials Begin

9 Let's Make Believ

10 Judgment Day

11 "You Can't Blame Men for Being Men"

PART 2

VIEWING PITCAIRN FROM A DISTANCE

12 How the Myth Was Forged

13 Politics, Poison, and Power Plays

14 Britain's "Ineffective Long-Range Benevolence"

15 "I Just Did My Job and Minded My Own Business"

16 Interdependence + Silence = Collusion

17 Making Legal History

18 The Final Trials

19 Reaping a Sad Legacy Since Bounty Times

20 Lord of the Flies?

21 The Last Throw of the Dic

Epilogue: Isobel's story

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416597445
Subtitle:
From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed
Author:
Marks, Kathy
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Oceania
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Pitcairn Island History.
Subject:
Social problems - Pitcairn Island
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090203
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Pacific Islands
History and Social Science » Crime » General

Lost Paradise: From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed Used Hardcover
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$9.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Free Press - English 9781416597445 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pitcairn Island was first settled more than 200 years ago by Fletcher Christian and other mutinous crew members of the HMS Bounty, along with several Polynesian women from neighboring islands; the community has always been small, but a mythology has built up around it as a remote, idyllic paradise. 'Pitcairn is thoroughly civilized,' agrees Marks, a British journalist based in Australia, 'except in one respect... children were almost routinely raped and assaulted.' In 2004, Marks was one of just six journalists allowed on Pitcairn to cover the trials of several islanders accused of repeated sexual abuse of teenage and preadolescent girls; her eyewitness accounts of the proceedings, and the hostility of Pitcairners, still subject to British laws, who believed their entire society was under persecution by the outside world, is gripping. She systematically demolishes the argument that Pitcairn was a different culture, where 'underage sex was the norm,' and considers why outside observers — from the British government to local schoolteachers and priests — let the abuse continue unchecked for decades. The crimes are disturbing enough, but the Pitcairn community's rallying around its most brutal sexual predators, and their relatively light punishment, is a truly unsettling story, even in Marks's restrained retelling." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , On the South Seas island made famous by "Mutiny on the Bounty, Lost Paradise" chronicles life in a remote community, offering a horrifying glimpse at the darkness of human nature, where an unregulated society descends into savagery. b&w photos.
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