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Joan Druett - Author

About the Author

Books by Joan Druett

Tupaia

Tupaia

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/10/2019

The Discovery of Tahiti

The Discovery of Tahiti

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/09/2019

Island of the Lost

Island of the Lost

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/08/2019

In 1864 Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave - rather than succumb to this dismal fate - inspires his men to take action. With barely more than their bare hands, they build a cabin and, remarkably, a forge, where they manufacture their tools. Under Musgrave's leadership, they band together and remain civilised through even the darkest and most terrifying days. Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island - twenty miles of impassable cliffs and chasms away - the Invercauld wrecks during a horrible storm. Nineteen men stagger ashore. Unlike Captain Musgrave, the captain of the Invercauld falls apart given the same dismal circumstances. His men fight and split up; some die of starvation, others turn to cannibalism. Only three survive. Musgrave and all of his men not only endure for nearly two years, they also plan their own astonishing escape, setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages in history. Using the survivors journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings this extraordinary untold story to life, a story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.

Deadly Shoals

Deadly Shoals

Author: Joan Druett Format: eBook Release Date: 26/01/2016

Wiki Coffin plays many parts on the U.S. Exploring Expedition---sailor, linguist, navigator, and, as half-Maori, cultural go-between. But then the brig Swallow reaches the coast of Patagonia, an area infamous for its rough gauchos and revolutionary spirit, and he must take on his other role, that of agent of U.S. law and order. A New England whaler shows up, desperate to find the devious trader who has cheated him of a thousand dollars and a schooner. Wiki is assigned to find the missing ship, only to follow a trail of clues to a dead body, half-buried in a hill of salt, its skull picked clean by vultures. The adventure unravels in the impoverished village of El Carmen de Patagones, where the threat of French invasion is imminent, and business is at a standstill under the orders of General de Rosas, the tyrant of Buenos Aires. Wiki must risk both life and reputation in pursuit of a vicious and determined killer who has set his sights on another target: the U.S. Exploring Expedition itself.

Run Afoul

Run Afoul

Author: Joan Druett Format: eBook Release Date: 26/01/2016

U.S. Exploring Expedition linguist Wiki Coffin sails with the famous convoy of ships toward Brazil, where he faces a whole new set of trials and tribulations, not the least being blamed for the sudden grave illness of a fellow crewman. But soon his own fate will be the least of his problems. As the great flagship Vincennes leads the convoy under the dubious command of eccentric captain Charles Wilkes toward a dramatic entrance in the port of Rio, careless maneuvering leads one of the vessels to run afoul of a Salem trading ship. The trader is owned and commanded by none other than the famous and larger-than-life Captain William Coffin, father to Wiki and sailor of all seven seas (plus another dozen or so he's managed to invent in his years of telling tall tales). The encounter sets in motion a series of chaotic events that reunite Coffin with his illegitimate half-Maori son and that will see two men dead, Captain Coffin on trial for murder, and Wiki working feverishly to unmask the real killers before the Expedition sails on-leaving his father at the mercy of an unforgiving Brazilian court.

Tupaia

Tupaia

Author: Joan Druett Format: eBook Release Date: 17/06/2011

The remarkable story of Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian navigator. Winner of NZ Post 2012 Best General Non-fiction Book Award. 'We are often told what great navigators ancient Polynesians were but we've seldom had it demonstrated so convincingly or with such clarity.' Paul Little North & South Tupaia, lauded by Europeans as 'an extraordinary genius', sailed with Captain Cook from Tahiti, piloted the Endeavour about the South Pacific, and interceded with Maori in NZ. Tupaia, a gifted linguist, a brilliant orator, and a most devious politician, could aptly be called the Machiavelli of Tahiti. Being highly skilled in astronomy, navigation, and meteorology, and an expert in the geography of the Pacific, he was able to name directional stars and predict landfalls and weather throughout the voyage from Tahiti to Java. Though he had no previous knowledge of writing or mapmaking, Tupaia drew a chart of the Pacific that encompassed every major group in Polynesia and extended more than 4,000 kilometres from the Marquesas to Rotuma and Fiji. He was also the ship's translator, able to communicate with all the Polynesian people they met. As a man of high social ranking, Tupaia performed as an able intermediary, interpreting local rituals and ceremonies. Joseph Banks is famous for his detailed, perceptive descriptions of the manners and customs of the Polynesian people. Much of the credit for this belongs to Tupaia. Not only did Tupaia become one of the ship's important artists, drawing lively pictures to illustrate what he described, but he could justly be called the Pacific's first anthropologist. Despite all this, Tupaia has never been part of the popular Captain Cook legend. This is largely because he died of complications from scurvy seven months before the ship arrived home. Once he was gone, his accomplishments were easily forgotten-indeed, by removing Tupaia from the story, what the Europeans had achieved seemed all the greater.This fascinating, handsome book also won the 2012 PANZ Book Design Award for best cover.

In the Wake of Madness

In the Wake of Madness

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2004

After more than a century of silence, the true story of one of history's most notorious mutinies is revealed in Joan Druett's riveting nautical murder mystery (USA Today). On May 25, 1841, the Massachusetts whaleship Sharon set out for the whaling ground of the northwestern Pacific. A year later, while most of the crew was out hunting, Captain Howes Norris was brutally murdered. When the men in the whaleboats returned, they found four crew members on board, three of whom were covered in blood, the other screaming from atop the mast. Single-handedly, the third officer launched a surprise attack to recapture the Sharon, killing two of the attackers and subduing the other. An American investigation into the murder was never conducted--even when the Sharon returned home three years later, with only four of the original twenty-nine crew on board. Joan Druett, a historian who's been called a female Patrick O'Brian by the Wall Street Journal, dramatically re-creates the mystery of the ill-fated whaleship and reveals a voyage filled with savagery under the command of one of the most ruthless captains to sail the high seas.

Rough Medicine

Rough Medicine

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/09/2001

Using diaries, journals, and correspondences, Druett recounts the daily grind surgeons on nineteenth-century whaling ships faced: the rudimentary tools they used, the treatments they had at their disposal, the sorts of people they encountered in their travels, and the dangers they faced under the harsh conditions of life at sea.

Rough Medicine

Rough Medicine

Author: Joan Druett Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2000

Using diaries, journals, and correspondences, Druett recounts the daily grind surgeons on nineteenth-century whaling ships faced: the rudimentary tools they used, the treatments they had at their disposal, the sorts of people they encountered in their travels, and the dangers they faced under the harsh conditions of life at sea.

Hen Frigates

Hen Frigates

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/1999

Hen Frigates

Hen Frigates

Author: Joan Druett Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/09/1998

She Captains

She Captains

Author: Joan Druett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/1939

In an innovative look at maritime history from the female perspective, Joan Druett introduces a remarkable array of characters and re-creates their adventures with a captivating immediacy and wit. There are 'pirate queens' armed with cutlasses and pistols who strike fear into the hearts of sailors. There are sea-loving women and women eager to be with the men they loved, who dress as men and join unsuspecting crews where they serve with honour and daring. The brave housekeepers and rescue workers are here too - including twenty year old Grace Darling, whose rescue of nine castaways in 1838 inspired a torrent of books, songs and poemss. Finally, 'A Woman at the Helm' shines a spotlight on the long line of 'she captains' who conquered dangerous seas and commanded rough crews, often displaying fortitude lacking in many of their male counterparts.