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Preview — Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
In 1864 Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of th...more
“Hundreds of miles from civilization, two ships wreck on opposite ends of the same deserted island in this true story of human nature at its best – and its worst.
Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.”
So begins Joan Druett’s book, Island of the Lost – Shipwrecked at the Edge...more
Traveling in the subantarctic is fraught with danger. The ocean is almost uninterrupted by land, which allows storms form quickly, circle the globe, and grow (with little land to slow them down). This climate, along with an unreliable food supply and harsh geography, makes survival difficult, and survival from shipwreck hopeless. Islands of the Lost desc...more
The author of several works on nautical history and a maritime mystery series, Joan Druett is a knowledgeable, entertaining tour guide through the seafaring life of the 19th century and the hardships of "castaway life" (New York Times Book Review). Druett illustrates how each group coped with the hostile conditions and why their respective strategies (or lack thereof) succeeded or failed by allowing the details of each story to drive the narrative. Some critics found those details too graphic
The ingenuity showed by the smaller group is amazing.
This is a fairly easy/quick read that doesn't get too bogged down in laborious detail, but fleshes history out nicely. She does a great job of creating a sense of being at sea and the gloom of the wintery, rainy Auckland Island.
The story of Musgrave and his group of castaways is very much "Robinson Crusoe." It became unintentionally comical as it went on and the Frenchman Raynal created more and more necessities. Need a cabin? I can design that! Got soap? I'll make that! Leathe...more
Druett first introduces the five-member crew of the Grafton. Through unity of purpose, specialized know-how, and hard work they are able to eke out a bearable existance. It’s amazing to witness the extent to which they are able to overcome their surroundings. They build a sturdy shelter complete with mortared fireplace, they perf...more
Thomas Musgrave and the three crew...more
In 1864, two very different groups of men were shipwrecked on the Auckland Islands, 250 miles south of New Zealand. Marooned at opposite ends of the islands, the two groups never encountered each other. One group was resourceful, mutually support...more
they survived for over a year in brutal sub-Antarctic conditions, banding together and using every bit of ingenuity to hunt for food and to construct themselves...more
This is contrasted with the wreck of the Invercauld, which occurred on the opposite side of the same island. No leade...more
The book asks this fas...more