Driftwood: Escape and survival through art

Australian Scholarly Publishing
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 ‘We are spread out in every direction of the wind.’ – Karl Duldig 1941

In 1938 sculptor Karl Duldig, his wife Slawa Horowitz-Duldig – inventor of the modern foldable umbrella – and their baby daughter Eva, left their home in Vienna for an uncertain future. They found a brief refuge in Singapore before arriving in Sydney on 25 September 1940. Australia was at war: they were classified as enemy aliens and interned in an isolated camp in northern Victoria.

Karl said, ‘A game of tennis saved my life’. The story follows the family’s narrow escape from Nazi Austria, as well as the recovery of all their Viennese art and other possessions after the war.

Spanning three continents and three generations, it poignantly captures both the loss that families encounter when they are dislocated by war and the challenges they face when adapting to a new way of life.

‘This book offers an insight into the cultural life of Australia at a time of enormous change, politically and artistically; a profound lesson in the experience of emigration in the worst of circumstances, but also the transforming contribution to the life of the nation through the talents of immigrants like Karl and Slawa Duldig.’ – Dr Gerard Vaughan AM  (Director, National Gallery of Australia)

- Awarded a Commendation in the History Publication category of the 2017 Victorian Community History Awards.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Australian Scholarly Publishing
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Published on
Feb 2, 2018
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Pages
392
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ISBN
9781925588040
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
History / Australia & New Zealand
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Mike Dash
From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.

It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas.

With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeed—but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Java—some 1,800 miles north—to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimus’s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers.

Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy he’d learned in Holland’s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimus’s band of butchers.

Unluckily for the mutineers, the Batavia’s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Company’s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Batavia’s Graveyard.

Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Batavia’s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dash’s place as one of the finest writers of the genre.


From the Hardcover edition.
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