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Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge…
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Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Joan Druett

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2361448,914 (3.91)52
Member:fiverivers
Title:Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
Authors:Joan Druett
Info:Algonquin Books (2007), Paperback, 284 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett (2007)

  1. 00
    The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: The Mysterious Island was inspired by the real-life shipwreck told in Island of the Lost
  2. 00
    Wake of the Invercauld: Shipwrecked in the Sub-Antarctic: A Great-Granddaughter's Pilgrimage by Madelene Ferguson Allen (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Great-grandaughter of Invercauld survivor Robert Holding.
  3. 00
    Castaway on the Auckland Isles by Thomas Musgrave (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Grafton shipwreck survivor.
  4. 00
    Wrecked On A Reef by François Édouard Raynal (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Grafton shipwreck survivor. In the 19th century, this was the best-selling account of the shipwreck and the inspiration for Verne's The Mysterious Island.
  5. 00
    The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard (rebeccanyc)
    rebeccanyc: Both of these books testify to the ability of people in hazardous and terrifying physical conditions to use both hard work and their mental and emotional strength to survive.
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» See also 52 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
This is the true-life story the inspired Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island which was based on French survivor François Édouard Raynal's account Wrecked on a ReefJoan Druett oddly neglects to even mention this connection, but she has ably rescued this once-famous shipwreck story from the mid-19th century, on an island in the sub-Antarctic south of New Zealand. Druett's sources are previously published accounts by the castaways. She paints a vivid picture of the geography and wildlife, and gives some insight into the castaways psychological state. A well balanced and nicely written book with a little bit of everything, but in the main a survival story. She reconciled relatively small differences in the accounts to the most likely version, but overall there is no great controversy. There are a couple minor unsolved mysteries, such as where the dogs came from and the smoke signal. Great story and memorable particularly when read in conjunction with satellite maps. ( )
  Stbalbach | May 8, 2016 |
A very enjoyable read. Two groups of men, each from a different shipwreck are inhabiting the same island unbeknownst to each other. This is truly a story of survival in the harshest of conditions. It shows what the human mind and body can endear if one wants to survive. Some of the accounts are contradictory so you don't get the full, honest story, but it is as close as one can get. Having never read about this part of the world (New Zealand and the Aucklands) I was quite fascinated. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Mar 29, 2016 |
“Deciding which version of each little event was closer to the truth was an interesting challenge” says Joan Druett in her authors note at the end of her account of two shipwrecks that happened in 1864. At the edge of the world refers to the Aukland islands group in the sub antarctic waters that lie 220 miles due south of New Zealand, where the weather is usually very unpleasant. Individuals within both groups of survivors, published accounts of their ordeals and it is from these that Druett has woven together her story of the events.

In January 1864 the Grafton was wrecked in a violent storm off the coast of the Aukland Islands, there were five survivors who made it ashore. The Islands had no settled population and the five men became castaways for eighteen months. In May of the same year The Invercauld was wrecked at the opposite end of the Islands and nineteen men made it ashore. Appalling weather and a mountainous terrain kept the two groups of castaways far apart. The Invercauld group spent 12 months on the islands but only three of the nineteen survived, whereas all five of the Grafton group made it back to civilisation.

Joan Druett has written a sort of documentary of the shipwrecks and by contrasting the two groups and moving from one story to the other she has highlighted why the small group were more successful than the larger group. Reading her account of the Grafton group is very much like reading Robinson Crusoe. Hard work, a never say die attitude and an ability to adapt and make the most of their surroundings along with their Christian ideals were the backbone to their survival. It was significant also that they managed to work together with a certain amount of camaraderie and a democratically elected leader. The Invercauld group by contrast could not overcome their reliance on the hierarchy of their naval rankings and when this failed to provide leadership the group fell apart.

These are not earth shattering events on the world’s stage, but are full of human interest. Reading about people coping with extreme conditions is fascinating to many of us and in this case knowing that the events described happened more or less as Druitt tells us, gives us a feeling of authenticity that we get when reading an extraordinary story in the newspapers. A real life adventure, although one few of us would wish to share is told brilliantly by an author who has painstakingly researched her subject and come up with an angle that is entertaining and enlightening. I was just glad to have experienced this from the comfort of my warm weatherproof study. 4 stars. ( )
9 vote baswood | Jan 27, 2016 |
rating 3.75

This is a fascinating story about a group of men who never give up. Stuck on an island between New Zealand and Antarctica the men are caught in frigid winters with nothing to eat. They come together to better themselves using their skills and abilities and even learning how to do things they had never done before like making shoes and a boat.

2 groups of men are stuck on this island and they never see each other while they are lost just a few miles apart.


The book is based on the accounts of the men written back in the last 1800's and reformatted to make a flowing story. ( )
  JWarrenBenton | Jan 4, 2016 |
rating 3.75

This is a fascinating story about a group of men who never give up. Stuck on an island between New Zealand and Antarctica the men are caught in frigid winters with nothing to eat. They come together to better themselves using their skills and abilities and even learning how to do things they had never done before like making shoes and a boat.

2 groups of men are stuck on this island and they never see each other while they are lost just a few miles apart.


The book is based on the accounts of the men written back in the last 1800's and reformatted to make a flowing story. ( )
  JWarrenBenton | Jan 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
It has seldom fallen to our lot as journalists to record a more remarkable instance of escape from the perils of shipwreck, and subsequent providential deliverance from the privations of a desolate island, after two years' sojourn, than that we have now to furnish. -Southland News, July 29, 1865

The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea. -Ovid
Dedication
For Roberta McIntyre, whose early encouragement could not have been more well timed.
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It was October 1863, early springtime in Sydney, Australia.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death. In 1864 Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captian Musgrave-rather than succumb to this dismal fate-inspires his men to take action. With barely more than their bare hands, they build a cabin and, remarkably, a forge, whee they manufacture their tools. Under Musgrave's leadership, they band together and remain civilized through even the darkest and most terrifying days. Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island-twenty miles of impassable cliffs and chasms away-the Invercauld wrecks during a horrible storm. Nineteen men stagger ashore. Unlike Captain Musgrave, the captain of the Invercauld falls apart given the same dismal circumstances. His men fight and split up; some die of starvation, other turn to cannibalism. Only three survived. Musgrave and all of his men not only endure for nearly two years, they also plan their own astonishing escape, setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages in history.
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Telling the true story of two similar shipwreck tragedies that have drastically different outcomes, award-winning maritime historian Druett tells a gripping cautionary tale about leadership, endurance, human ingenuity, and the tenuous line between order and chaos.… (more)

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