Shipwreck, Treachery, and Survival at the Edge of the World

By Eric Jay Dolin

Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company

With a publication date of May 7, Eric Jay Dolin’s latest book is an entertaining true story of survival and betrayal during the War of 1812. A chance encounter between an American sealing vessel, a shipwrecked British brig and a British warship foments a series of misunderstandings and mistrust leading to the abandonment of five sailors on a remote, subarctic island in the South Atlantic for a harrowing eighteen months.

Early in 1812, the American brig Nanina set sail for the Falkland Islands, her crew hoping to find an abundant supply of seals. Later that year, the Isabella set a course from New South Wales to Britain with passengers comprising a mix of pardoned convicts, soldiers, and their wives. After the brig struck a reef in the Falklands, a few of the crew sailed the ship’s 17-foot boat 1,000 miles to Brazil, where a British admiral dispatched a ship to rescue the castaways, who had already found them. The British warship captain declared the Nanina a prize of war, sailing off with both ships and stranding five men who were off hunting seals. Without any firearms, they were able to survive on a diet of seals, penguins and wild hogs. A captivating castaway tale, Left for Dead is highly recommended.

The best-selling and award-winning author of several books on maritime history including Leviathan, Rebels at Sea, A Furious Sky, Brilliant Beacons, and Black Flags, Blue Waters, Eric Jay Dolin is also a Nantucket Historical Society Research Fellow. He lives in Marblehead, MA. For more information including the author’s upcoming speaking engagements, log onto ■

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