Catherine's Reviews > Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History

Nathaniel's Nutmeg by Giles Milton
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's review
Mar 06, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: bookcrossing
Read from March 06 to 08, 2009

The interesting tale of the battle between the Dutch and the British for control of the Spice Islands of the Far East with plenty of other bits of history and geography thrown in for good measure. The hero of the title, and his exploits, don't get a look in until the last third of the book and, even then, they are to some extent underplayed which makes the title somewhat mendacious. Nonetheless, the island swap that eventually resulted from the eponymous Nathaniel's tenacity could fairly be said to have had a significant impact on the future developments of the conquest of both nations.

I found the account readable enough, but there were quite a lot of switches back in time which were unannounced to someone who reads as fast as I and would have needed even someone who pays full attention to the dates to stop and re-orient themselves were they not to be momentarily confused by the sudden reappearance of characters lost or dead several chapters before.A Bit like that last sentence really. A timeline would have helped methinks.

Should I ever get to Amsterdam again (and I have every intention of being there next year) all those maps, navigational instruments and many of the portraits in the museums will make far more sense having read this book.

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03/08/2009 page 87

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