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Nathaniel's Nutmeg (2001)
by Giles Milton
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Wikipedia in English (11)
The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago--remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored. Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (yielding a 3,200% profit by the time it arrived in England) made it the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome was that Britain ceded Run to Holland but in return was given Manhattan--leading to the birth of New York and to the beginning of the British Empire. This deal was due to the persistence of one man: Nathaniel Courthope and his small band of adventurers were sent to Run in October 1616, and held off the Dutch navy for four years. This book centers on the showdown between Courthope and the Dutch Governor General, and the brutal fate of mariners racing to Run to reap the huge profits of the spice trade.--From publisher description.
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