The book deals with the competition between England and Holland for possession of the spice-producing islands of Southeast Asia throughout the 17th century. Packed with stories of heroism, ambition, ruthlessness, treachery, murder, torture, and madness, Nathaniel's Nutmeg offers a compelling story of European rivalry in the tropics, thousands of miles from home, and the mutual incomprehensibility which often comically characterized relations between the Europeans and the local inhabitants of the prized islands.
At the center of the action lies Nathaniel Courthope, a trusty lieutenant of the East India Company, who took and held the tiny nutmeg-producing island of Run in the face of overwhelming Dutch opposition for more than five years, before being treacherously murdered in 1620. To avenge his death, and the loss of the island, the British took the Dutch North American colony at Manhattan. (As Milton wittily remarks, although Courthope's death "robbed England of her nutmeg, it gave her the biggest of apples").
Inevitably inviting comparisons with Dava Sobel's Longitude, Nathaniel's Nutmeg is a charming story that throws light on a neglected period of European history, and analyzes its fascination with the "spicy" East. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Have you heard of the Island of Run? Neither had I. In fact this most insignificant island of the Banda archipelago – 1.9 miles by . Read morePublished 9 days ago by JD
Another great book by Giles Milton. The spice trade and the international and local disasters associated with it all play into this story of Nathaniel. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Andy
I had to read this book for a history class but ended up loving it! Such great story telling and incredible information. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Andrea VanderJagt
A short, well-researched book that demonstrates once again that history is as fascinating as fiction, and that everything is connected, on closer inspection.Published 4 months ago by Hominid Philosophiae
This is a very well researched and very well presented history of the grievous, spiteful, rivalry between the Dutch and the English in their attempts at the monopoly of the export... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bob Jarvis
I am reading this right now. There are many books/documentaries about spices, but this one is different. This is a history of the business of spice trading. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Deborah Niskin