Lord of the Flies with Grown-Ups. "Batavia's Graveyard", by Mike Dash. [review]
The Batavia, the finest ship of the Dutch Golden Age, left Amsterdam for the colony of Java in October 1628 on its maiden voyage. Approximately three hundred men, women and children were on board. It was wrecked on Houtman’s Abrolhos, a string of Western Australian atolls. Pelsaert set off in a small boat with his second-in-charge, the ship’s skipper, and reached the city of Batavia (now Jakarta) in an epic of small-craft navigation. In his absence, a group of men led by Undermerchant Jeronimus Cornelisz established a reign of terror on the island known as Batavia’s Graveyard. Killings commenced, at first secretly, and on semi-judicial disciplinary grounds, then more openly.