Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Meeting

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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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About the author

Mike Dash is the author of the national bestseller Tulipomania. A journalist and Cambridge-educated historian, he lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown
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Published on
Mar 5, 2002
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781400045105
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Australia & New Zealand
History / Expeditions & Discoveries
History / Modern / 17th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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They called it Satan’s Circus—a square mile of Midtown Manhattan where vice ruled, sin flourished, and depravity danced in every doorway. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was a place where everyone from the chorus girls to the beat cops was on the take and where bad boys became wicked men; a place where an upstanding young policeman such as Charley Becker could become the crookedest cop who ever stood behind a shield.

Murder was so common in the vice district that few people were surprised when the loudmouthed owner of a shabby casino was gunned down on the steps of its best hotel. But when, two weeks later, an ambitious district attorney charged Becker with ordering the murder, even the denizens of Satan’s Circus were surprised. The handsome lieutenant was a decorated hero, the renowned leader of New York’s vice-busting Special Squad. Was he a bad cop leading a double life, or a pawn felled by the sinister rogues who ran Manhattan’s underworld?

With appearances by the legendary and the notorious—including Big Tim Sullivan, the election-rigging vice lord of Tammany Hall; future president Theodore Roosevelt; beloved gangster Jack Zelig; and the newly famous author Stephen Crane—Satan’s Circus brings to life an almost-forgotten Gotham. Chronicling Charley Becker’s rise and fall, the book tells of the raucous, gaudy, and utterly corrupt city that made him, and recounts not one but two sensational murder trials that landed him in the electric chair.


From the Hardcover edition.
They called it Satan’s Circus—a square mile of Midtown Manhattan where vice ruled, sin flourished, and depravity danced in every doorway. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was a place where everyone from the chorus girls to the beat cops was on the take and where bad boys became wicked men; a place where an upstanding young policeman such as Charley Becker could become the crookedest cop who ever stood behind a shield.

Murder was so common in the vice district that few people were surprised when the loudmouthed owner of a shabby casino was gunned down on the steps of its best hotel. But when, two weeks later, an ambitious district attorney charged Becker with ordering the murder, even the denizens of Satan’s Circus were surprised. The handsome lieutenant was a decorated hero, the renowned leader of New York’s vice-busting Special Squad. Was he a bad cop leading a double life, or a pawn felled by the sinister rogues who ran Manhattan’s underworld?

With appearances by the legendary and the notorious—including Big Tim Sullivan, the election-rigging vice lord of Tammany Hall; future president Theodore Roosevelt; beloved gangster Jack Zelig; and the newly famous author Stephen Crane—Satan’s Circus brings to life an almost-forgotten Gotham. Chronicling Charley Becker’s rise and fall, the book tells of the raucous, gaudy, and utterly corrupt city that made him, and recounts not one but two sensational murder trials that landed him in the electric chair.


From the Hardcover edition.
L'histoire vraie de la plus folle et de la plus cruelle des mutineries menée par un hérétique qui se prenait pour Dieu.
En 1629, affrété par des marchands hollandais, le Batavia file vers l'île de Java. A son bord, plus de trois cents passagers, hommes, femmes et enfants ainsi qu'une fabuleuse cargaison, équivalant à vingt millions d'euros.
Et surtout, Jeronimus Cornelisz, un apothicaire ruiné, dévoré par le désir de revanche.
A quelques milles des côtes australiennes, le navire se fracasse sur des récifs. Quelques îlots accueillent les survivants.
Avec une dizaine de ses fidèles, Jeronimus va déclencher un abominable huis clos et exterminer un par un tous ceux qui s'opposent à lui. Testant avec cruauté leur soumission, il les humiliera avant de les achever. Un prêtre est prêt à renoncer à sa foi, les femmes sont livrées à la communauté...
Pendant deux mois, l'archipel des hérétiques devient l'enfer sur mer. Un petit groupe saura résister jusqu'à l'arrivée des sauveteurs. Le procès de Jeronimus révélera alors les tourments délirants des bourreaux et des victimes. Sur cette plage déserte du Pacifique, les potences sont dressées...
Mais l'histoire de Jeronimus n'est pas finie. Elle anticipe les barbaries à venir au nom de l'absolu.

Mike Dash est historien, spécialiste de l'âge d'or hollandais. Il est l'auteur de plusieurs ouvrages dont le best-seller international, La Tulipomania. Pour écrire ce livre qui va être porté à l'écran par Paul Verhoeven , il a retrouvé tous les textes et toutes les archives sur le Batavia.

Traduit par Stéphane Carn
Una exhaustiva investigación nunca antes realizada sobre los orígenes de la mafia estadounidense, tantas veces retratada en el cine y la televisión.

Esta es la historia de los criminales más violentos y eficaces de la historia de Estados Unidos, y de cómo consiguieron salir de las aguas sicilianas para establecerse con éxito en Norteamérica. Y al mismo tiempo, es la historia de una familia: la primera familia del crimen organizado en Nueva York, un extenso y unido clan de extorsionadores y asesinos que abandonaron su hogar en el legendario corazón de la mafia, Corleone, para convertirse en los padrinos fundadores del nuevo mundo. Mucho antes que los Soprano, que el Padrino o que las cinco familias que han dominado el crimen organizado en Estados Unidos durante medio siglo, mucho antes que todos ellos, llegaron Giuseppe Morello y sus sangrientos hermanos.

Por primera vez, un libro se nutre de archivos estadounidenses e italianos casi desconocidos, de documentos desclasificados de los servicios secretos, de los archivos policiales y judiciales neoyorquinos, así como de entrevistas con los últimos supervivientes de la familia Morello-Terranova, para contarnos el nacimiento de Little Italy y sus clanes mafiosos.

La crítica ha dicho...
«Un libro excelente de un historiador británico cuya capacidad para la investigación carece de límites. Dash se ha sumergido en toneladas de material para emerger con una obra de historia divulgativa en lo que probablemente sea el trabajo definitivo sobre la cuestión en los años venideros.»
The Washington Post

«Arrebatador, convincente, absorbente.»
The New York Times

«Cercana, personal, y repleta de detalles..., Dash constituye una rareza: es un metódico investigador y un escritor capaz de esculpir esta historia con una pluma tan perfecta y afilada como un estilete. Su estilo narrativo es novelístico, una apariencia desmentida por las extensas y precisas notas explicativas, que lo equiparan con algunos de los más reputados escritores sobre la mafia.»
Toronto Globe & Mail

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