Castaway : the extraordinary survival story of Narcisse Pelletier, a young French cabin boy shipwrecked on Cape York in 1858 by Robert Macklin

1. First lines. 2. Published 2019: Hachette 3. Narcisse Pelletier. Queensland State Archives. Public Domain. via flickr 4. Map – from Narrative of the voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late Captain Owen Stanley during the years 1846-50 : to which is added Mr. E.B. Kennedy’s expedition for the exploration of the Cape York Peninsula. No known copyright restrictions. via flickr 5. 1888 Dugong Fishing. [Northern Australia] Picturesque atlas of Australasia / edited by Andrew Garran page 402. Public Domain. Retrieved from surfresearch 28/9/2019
I really liked this book.

The true story of Narcisse Pelletier who, in 1858, was abandoned on the coast of Queensland after a shipwreck. He lived with local Aboriginal people for seventeen years until a passing ship picked him up to return him to France. The book also details the frontier wars of Queensland during the 1800s when the Indigenous population was overtaken by European settlement.

“With its upright neck the bird stood as tall as himself and on its head was a pointed, golden crown. Its dark feathers seemed to shimmer in the circle of sunlight. Its neck was an iridescent blue, with red mottles at its base. It raised one three-toed foot, stretched its neck and turned its head to face them. It seemed quite unafraid and as it lowered its foot, Sassy quietly backed away. Amglo followed suit and from behind a big tree they both heard the deep booming sound of its call.”

“These continued savageries from the Native Police were rousing some graziers to public protest. Gideon Scott Lang delivered a series of public lectures and published a pamphlet in which he declared that as a Queensland grazier he was ‘no blind partisan of the blacks’, but they could be ‘managed’ without fighting. He said that there had been more ‘destruction of Aborigines’ in Queensland than in any other colony. It had been ‘wholesale and indiscriminate and carried on with cold-blooded cruelty on the part of the whites quite unparalleled in the history of these colonies’.”

~Quotes from “Castaway : the extraordinary survival story of Narcisse Pelletier, a young French cabin boy shipwrecked on Cape York in 1858” by Robert Macklin

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