The Duyfken and its master Willem Janszoon 

by Joan I Smith


When in 1606 a small Dutch ship named Duyfken made a landing on Cape York Peninsula it turned out to be the first recorded visit by Europeans to the Southland (Australia) - 164 years before the arrival of Captain Cook. 

Very little was known of the ship's Master - Willem Janszoon. Yet his life and career were quite remarkable for although he started life as a foundling he became a valued member of the United (Dutch) EastIndies Company (VOC). 
Beneath the exterior of an ordinary man he was a clever navigator and strategist which ultimately led him to become an Admiral and Governor of Banda. The story, which is a reconstruction made up of both fiction and historical facts, has a page turning quality. 
A heartwarming history for young and old alike.

in Australia: AUD$ 20.00 +p/h

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The Gilt Dragon Incident 

by Harry Turner
This is a fictional account of the final voyage of the United (Dutch) East Indies Company) ship Vergulde Draeck or Gilt Dragon from the Netherlands bound for the East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1655. 
On the 28 April 1656 she ran onto a reef 5 kms off the west coast of the Southland between the present day towns of Guilderton and Ledge Point in Western Australia 
It tells the story of one Abraham Leeman - the understeersman (second mate) of the ship - and his heroic efforts in getting help and then returning to look for his true love, other survivors and the treasure .... 
This is an absorbing story of love, drama, courage and determination based on historical facts.

in Australia: AUD$ 20.00 +p/h

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The Blue-Eyed Aborigine  

by Rosemary Hayes


A different take on the Batavia disaster from the viewpoint of the cabin boy Jan Pelgrom during the build up of unrest on board ship, the shipwreck and then the desperate struggle for survival on the Houtman Abrolhos islands.  

What led up to these dramatic events? What were the conditions on board that nurtured mutiny? Why did the Captain despise the Commander and, after the shipwreck, how did the mad and charismatic Under Merchant Corneliez persuade  sailors and soldiers to massacre all who thwarted his warped plans? Jan was under his spell and it is only after the mutineers are punished and Jan and his soldier companion, Wouter Looes, are marooned on the coast of the empty ‘Southland’ that he can see his actions in perspective. 

So what happened to the two young men? Did they survive? Did they integrate with  local Aborigines? Recent DNA tests have confirmed that there is Western European DNA in some WA aboriginal people, posing questions about the legacy of the Batavia survivors that remain relevant today.

Rosemary Hayes not only uses the factual events (the shipwreck, mutiny and massacre) but also imagines the unknown - the lives, relationships and discoveries of the two young Dutchmen as they attempt to settle in a country so different from their native Holland. 

A gripping adventure story that raises timeless questions about human behaviour, conditioning and ultimately the power of love.

in Australia: AUD$ 20.00 +p/h

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Journey to the East–1653

by John Vanderlist

Lurlie Pepper

This is a story about the experiences of young man,   Thomas Joosten who joins a sailing ship of the time, then east in the and, named the Jacoba de Graeef. His intention was to join a trading voyage to the East Indies from the Netherlands, to verify the many tales he had heard around the wharves.

There is a vivid description of life aboard a VOC ship and adventures along the way.

The author has had a life long interest in the activities of the early Dutch navigators who plied the oceams of the world in search of trade, in the Golden Age of the Dutch republic.

The story has appeal for young and old and is a light hearted as well as an informative read.

in Australia: AUD$ 20.00 +p/h

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My Great Grandfather's Adventures in Australia

Vlietstra Cover


In 1853, a young Dutchman, Johannes Vlietstra, embarked on the ship “The Malvine”, bound for Australia under Captain de Jong, as ship’s steward, reaching Hobson’s Bay, or Williamstown, in 102 days. 

Four members of the crew, three sailors and the cook, seized control of the boat and fled and the ships when the ship’s  carpenter told them they were close to the gold fields.

Johannes stayed on but finally jumped ship in Tasmania where he mixed with the locals and staying until he returned to his native Friesland after 10 years.

His great grandson, Ron Vlietstra was unaware of his family history and was thinking of writing a fictional account until he learned of a published journal that Johannes had published in 1868..

This story of discovery includes a translation of that journal with the original (in Dutch) at the back of this book.

It is a time-capsule of Australia in the mid 1800’s through the eyes of a non British person, thereby providing an interesting perspective of the colony.

in Australia: AUD$ 20.00 +p/h

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