Posted by: internationalroutier | March 31, 2011

Batavia in Conversation

ABC702 today (re?)played an interview with Peter FitzSimons about his book about the Batavia and it’s shipwreck off the WA coast in 1629.

By no means is this the only book about the Batavia, not even the only one based on the same set of diaries but he does tell a good tale and manages to convey his enthusiasm for the subject very well. The interview is a great introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the story.

From the ABC702 website…

Peter FitzSimons describes the story of the Batavia as 17th century “Adults Only version of Lord of the Flies meets Nightmare on Elm Street.”

The Dutch ship, laden with treasure, was wrecked on a reef near the WA coast, on its way to the Dutch East Indies.

When they hit the reef, the passengers were marooned and left at the mercy of of one of the officers – an out and out psychopath.

What follows is one of the most hair-raising tales in human history.

The interview is about 50 mins, so fire up the Solitaire, pour yourself a sherry and chillax.

Other reading includes Voyage to Disaster by Henrietta Drake-Brockman; First and Last Voyage of the Batavia by Phillipe Goddard; and Islands of Angry Ghosts by Hugh Edwards which includes the story of the archaeological explorations. Afterwards if you feel inspired you may like to try out an historical novel on the event, Die a Dry Death. Would welcome reviews on any or all of these 🙂



  1. As a matter of interest, Peter Fitzsimons went to school with our current Captayne.

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