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By: Giles Milton
388 pages, B/w illus
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 conceded Run to Holland, but in return was given another small island, Manhattan.
'A magnificent piece of popular history...This is a book to read, reread, then read again to your children.' -- Nicholas Fearn, Independent on Sunday 'Beautifully touching...To write a book that makes the reader, after finishing it, sit in a trance, lost in his passionate desire to pack a suitcase and go, somehow, to the fabulous place - that, in the end, is something one would give a sack of nutmeg for.' -- Philip Hensher, Spectator 'Giles Milton tells his adventurous and sometimes grisly tale with relish...The thoroughness and intelligence of his research underpins the lively confidence with which he deploys it.' -- John Spurling, Times Literary Supplement 'Milton has created a truly gripping tale of jingoistic pride, atrocious cruelty, avarice and double-dealing!His research is impeccable and his narrative reads in part like a modern-day Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Once embarked upon the journey of the book, one is loath, sometimes unable -- as were the characters within it -- to turn back and abandon it.' -- Martin Booth, Sunday Times
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