A Conversation for The Tale of the 'Batavia' - Waiting in Turn to Die
Pinniped Started conversation Sep 24, 2003
Main source when I wrote it was Mike Dash's "Batavia's Graveyard". A great book, and pretty EG-ready. Scrupulously factual, unemotional, stripped of speculation.
There is another way to tell a tale, of course, and that's to novelise it. Till an airport departure lounge yesterday I knew no version of this story worth a mention. Now I do : Arabella Edge's "The Company" is definitely worth a read. Here's a review...
AE's Jeronimus is even more culpable than Dash's. She has him killing dozens with his secret stash of poisons, and controlling and inciting the cadets by pushing opium. True or not, it's a compelling idea, well told. The detached lust for Creesje is a great study of creepy mysogeny as well.
Best of all, Jeronimus's own conversations with himself are very well constructed. Every external event gets internalised, and his role in each undergoes a steady development from tentative excuses into decisive convictions. The result is a very disturbing rationalisation of degeneracy and evil.
If you like the Entry, you're recommended to try both books (Dash and Edge - great names for writers of a tale full of blunt axes too!)
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