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Batavia by Peter FitzSimons Sample Chapter

Batavia by Peter FitzSimons Sample Chapter

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Published by RandomHouseAU
The greatest story in Australia’s history.

The Shipwreck of the Batavia combines in just the one tale the birth of the world's first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good vs evil, the derring-do of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples and so much more.

Described by author Peter FitzSimons as "a true Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meeting Nightmare on Elm Street," the story is set in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland. The magnificent ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to break into the open when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night.

While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the long-boat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 250 people on a small island is unwieldy for the small number of supplies they have. Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40 odd mutineers how they could save themselves, kill most of the rest and spare only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jansz - one of the noted beauties of Holland - to service their sexual needs. A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those are prepared to do what it takes to survive . . . hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon be coming back to them with the rescue yacht.

It all happened, long ago, and it is for a very good reason that Peter FitzSimons has long maintained that this is "far and away the greatest story in Australia's history, if not the world's." FitzSimons unique writing style has made him the country's best-selling non-fiction writer over the last ten years, and he is perfect man to make this bloody, chilling, stunning tale come alive.
The greatest story in Australia’s history.

The Shipwreck of the Batavia combines in just the one tale the birth of the world's first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good vs evil, the derring-do of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples and so much more.

Described by author Peter FitzSimons as "a true Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies, meeting Nightmare on Elm Street," the story is set in 1629, when the pride of the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, is on its maiden voyage en route from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, laden down with the greatest treasure to leave Holland. The magnificent ship is already boiling over with a mutinous plot that is just about to break into the open when, just off the coast of Western Australia, it strikes an unseen reef in the middle of the night.

While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the long-boat across 2000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 250 people on a small island is unwieldy for the small number of supplies they have. Quietly, he puts forward a plan to 40 odd mutineers how they could save themselves, kill most of the rest and spare only a half-dozen or so women, including his personal fancy, Lucretia Jansz - one of the noted beauties of Holland - to service their sexual needs. A reign of terror begins, countered only by a previously anonymous soldier Wiebbe Hayes, who begins to gather to him those are prepared to do what it takes to survive . . . hoping against hope that the Commandeur will soon be coming back to them with the rescue yacht.

It all happened, long ago, and it is for a very good reason that Peter FitzSimons has long maintained that this is "far and away the greatest story in Australia's history, if not the world's." FitzSimons unique writing style has made him the country's best-selling non-fiction writer over the last ten years, and he is perfect man to make this bloody, chilling, stunning tale come alive.

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Published by: RandomHouseAU on Aug 17, 2011
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 A William Heinemann book Published by Random House Australia Pty LtdLevel 3, 100 Pacic Highway, North Sydney NSW 2060 www.randomhouse.com.auFirst published by William Heinemann in 2011Copyright © Peter FitzSimons 2011Te moral right o the author has been asserted. All rights reserved. No part o this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person orentity, including internet search engines or retailers, in any orm or by any means, electronic ormechanical, including photocopying (except under the statutory exceptions provisions o the Australian
Copyright Act 1968 
), recording, scanning or by any inormation storage and retrievalsystem without the prior written permission o Random House Australia. Addresses or companies within the Random House Group can be ound at www.randomhouse.com.au/ofces.National Library o AustraliaCataloguing-in-Publication Entry FitzSimons, Peter.Batavia / Peter FitzSimons.ISBN 978 1 86471 040 3 (hbk).Batavia (Ship)Shipwrecks – Western Australia – Houtman Abrolhos Islands.Survival ater airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc.Mutiny – Western Australia – Houtman Abrolhos Islands – History.919.4104 Jacket images: etchings reproduced courtesy o the Australian National Maritime Museum;
Batavia
painting by John Cornwell, www.johncornwell.com.au Jacket design by Adam Yazxhi/MAXCOInternal maps and diagram o the
Batavia
by James CarltonInternal design by Xou, Australiaypeset in Garamond by Xou, AustraliaPrinted and bound by Grifn Press, South AustraliaRandom House Australia uses papers that are natural, renewable and recyclable products andmade rom wood grown in sustainable orests. Te logging and manuacturing processes areexpected to conorm to the environmental regulations o the country o origin.10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Copyright © Peter Fitzsimons 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
 
Preace
In a chance lunch conversation with my two then publishers,Shona Martyn and Alison Urquhart, late in 1999, they mentionedthe seventeenth-century story o the shipwreck o the
Batavia
andhow it might possibly lend itsel to a great book. Tat aternoon,I went back to the library o the
Sydney Morning Herald 
and dugup some stu on it. I was instantly and totally absorbed. Amongother things, I was stunned to read o the grandeur o the shiphersel and that when her replica had sailed into Sydney Harboura couple o months previously, to get to her berth at the MaritimeMuseum in Darling Harbour, she had needed to do so duringan exceptionally low tide so the top o her mighty mast would tunder the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And this was a ship that wasoriginally built nearly 400 years earlier. Staggering!Te true wonder o the story, though, had little to do with thephysical dimensions o the ship and everything to do with thepersonal dynamics o the
Batavia
’s company once she got intostrie. Sure, a lot o the details might have been well known tomany Australians, particularly in Western Australia, but they  were totally unknown to me – and I remember thinking atthe time that the whole astonishing saga made the story o thesinking o the
itanic 
look like a Sunday School picnic. I rankly couldn’t believe that such a antastic story wasn’t as well knownin this country as Ned Kelly or the Eureka Stockade and decidedthen and there to write a book on it.In short order, I had a contract to do exactly that, and I beganmy research. A lot o water has passed beneath the bridge since
xi
Copyright © Peter Fitzsimons 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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