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The Mystery of Easter Island (Mystic Traveller) Paperback – February 1, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katherine Maria Routledge (11 August 1866 – 13 December 1935), was an English archaeologist and anthropologist who, in 1914, initiated the first true survey of Easter Island.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mystic Traveller
  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Adventures Unlimited Press; Revised ed. edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932813488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932813480
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Claus Hetting on November 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the early 1900's Katherine Routledge sailed from England to Easter Island on the schooner 'Mana', leading a group of experts on the first modern day scientific expedition to uncover the secrets of the island. This book is a first-hand account of the expedition. It includes lots of detail on the famous stone statues (moai), the native people & their legends, the mysterious script (rongo-rongo), the bird cult, and much more. Routledge even managed to learn the local language in the hope that interviewing the natives would shed some light on the island's prehistory.

The book is well written and fun to read. It includes lots of fine illustrations, including photos and drawings, depicting the most important sites. It is definately a must-read for visitors to the island, or just for anyone interested in Easter Island and its strange history.

I fancy the image of Katherine Routledge as a kind of female Indiana Jones. Certainly she was adventurous for a woman of the early part of the century; just getting to the island in a yacht ranks as a mildly swashbuckling achievement. There are also some references in the book that she had already been to East Africa, perhaps before the turn of the century, although I have been unable to find further information on this.
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Format: Paperback
The Mystery of Easter Island was originally published in 1919, based upon the research of an English lady, Katherine Routledge, who lived on the island in 1914-15. She learned the Rapanui language and interviewed all the old people she could find who still remembered the past. The more we now know about the archaeology of Easter Island, the better this material looks. Routledge did excavations, camped out all over the island and accumulated vast quantities of research material. A 'must read' for someone going to Easter Island.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This reviewer first heard of this non-fiction travel book when I recently read the novel "Easter Island" by Jennifer Vanderbes (please enjoy my reader review of that novel too). That author made reference to the using Routledge's true story in her own novel. The main characters are based on Routledge and her 1914 Easter Island adventure expedition. This is a perfect example of the truth being stranger than the fiction.
The book is written in a very folksy light manner that was typical of many 1919 publications. Katherine Routledge and her husband "decided to see the Pacific before we died, and asked the anthropological authorities at the Britsh Museum what work there remained to be done, the answer was, `Easter Island.'" So in 1910 this wealthy couple decides to mount an exhibition to Easter Island. The first step is to build a 90-foot custom designed yacht in which to make the journey that they named "Mana." The Royal Navy "lent the Expedition a Lieutenant on full pay for navigation and survey." By this time the reader has a pretty good idea that Katherine Routledge wasn't a typical British citizen who wanted to go on a little ocean adventure. She seems more like a character out of Jules Verne science fiction novel. This may have been a scientific journey, but the expedition traveled in typical British Empire comfort.
Katherine Maria Pease Routledge was the second child of a very wealthy Quaker Family who decided to become an archaeologist. Her travel adventure is wonderfully related in this nearly 400-page reprint of the original 1919 book. The book is greatly enhanced by the addition of numerous drawings and photographs from the voyage. Routledge and her husband had previously published a book on the Kikuyu people of East Africa called "With a Prehistoric People.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book several years ago and it is still one of my all time favorites. Katherine Routledge has an incredible ability to describe the world around her from out fitting the boat to the difficulty of navigating the eastern coast of South America she is able to describe the world in such a way you feel that you are there. The incredible thing about the book is what she is describing takes place in 1916. She is able to give you the feeling that you are taking a global sailing trip and exploring the island first hand.
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I ordered this version of the book expecting a rendering of the complete edition. This version ends midway through chapter XIV. The reproduced illustrations are of poor quality as well. Really should be rated 0 stars
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Format: Paperback
This fascinating first-person account of an early (1913-15) expedition focuses on the people and the artifacts of Easter Island. An English woman, Katherine Pease Routledge, and her Australian husband, William Scoresby, custom-built a 90-foot yacht they named Mana and sailed from England, across the Atlantic, around Patagonia to Chile, and on to Easter Island. The first section of the book vividly recounts their sailing adventure. Once on the island, the narrative unfolds at a dramatic moment in time when the people of Easter Island were rebelling against the grip of an oppressive feudal system and the First World War had just begun. Routledge’s writing is observant, detailed, and compelling; she brings her experiences alive for the reader. It’s easy to see why this book was such a success when it was originally published in 1919. It is still excellent reading today.
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