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.
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 1 month ago by Deborah Niskin
Great book- I learned a lot about early navigator and the motivation behind their explorations and how they were financedPublished 4 months ago by Peter A. Citrolo
Gripping if it were a dissertation, but not much of a page-turner as a non-fiction novel. Interesting and full of details, I was certain I'd missed the book's name-sake while lost... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gloria R. Spielman
Excellent history on this war - factual in all aspects. Worth putting in your library.
Some schools require this book to be read by students
I really love plants and was hoping to learn more about spices and the agriculture that goes with it. This book barely even addresses the plant that is in it's namesake. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Cupcake
Informative is not always fun, but this book is both. A great read and makes nutmeg into a deeply interesting spice.Published 14 months ago by Sudi
I was kind of disappointed...pretty dry and slow compared to other books i've read about commodity trading in that era.Published 14 months ago by James C. Moore II