12:00 pmUnity Books
57 Willis Street
'Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific' is a collection of tales of the men, and in some cases the women, who sought to benefit from the discoveries of the early explorers. They were mostly scoundrels and rogues with little conscience but great craftiness, and they left in their wake others who found themselves victims of unimaginable situations. Here are the adventurers who once made the great Pacific their playground — from likeable dreamers to outright conmen, slavers and pirates, and even one self-titled Queen Emma. There’s the extraordinary tale of James Proctor who used his wooden leg to trick natives into coming aboard his ship so he could spirit them away as slaves; or the French priest Fr Rougier who used his position to amass a fortune, eventually becoming the ‘King of Christmas Island’. Along with rollicking tales of the outrageous and bizarre, there are gloomy accounts of those fallen prey to human trafficking, goldfield fever and unscrupulous traders. It shows that mankind, in whatever period and whatever part of the world, may have its heroes, but always has its villains.