Home to 36 islanders - descendents of the "Bounty" mutineers - Pitcairn has no cars, no crime and no doctor. For two centuries Fletcher Christian's children, whose culture is a blend of of Polynesian and 18th-century English, have lived out a social experiment. After two years' persistence and a 4000-mile sea voyage aboard a chemical tanker, Dea ...
Home to 36 islanders - descendents of the "Bounty" mutineers - Pitcairn has no cars, no crime and no doctor. For two centuries Fletcher Christian's children, whose culture is a blend of of Polynesian and 18th-century English, have lived out a social experiment. After two years' persistence and a 4000-mile sea voyage aboard a chemical tanker, Dea Birkett realized her dream of reaching this furthest outpost of the British Empire. This is an account of the author's quest for Utopia in the tiny community of Pitcairn in the South Pacific. The book reveals how Birkett found herself caught up in a web of intrigue, decades-old disputes and thwarted desires. Birkett's first travel book, "Jella", won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Writer award.
Fair. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with writing textual notes highlighting or be an heavily used ex library copy with library markings, stickers or stamps. Dust jacket or accessories may not be included.
Very good. No dust jacket as issued. One corner of cover is creased; light edge wear. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 320 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Pitcairn Island, a tiny speck in the South Pacific 3000 miles from the nearest landmass, has had an enduring hold over the imaginations of countless people. The final refuge of the infamous Bounty mutineers, the island holds out the promise of paradise: three square miles of tropical beauty, inhabited by only 37 people. Acclaimed British travel writer and journalist Dea Birkett, obsessed both by the island's enduring image as a secluded Eden, and by the Bounty legend, traveled across the Pacific in a cargo ship and became one of the very few outsiders permitted to land on Pitcairn. Longing to fit in with the islanders, Birkett lived with a Pitcairner family for five months. Initially welcoming, the islanders gradually began to whisper rumors about Birkett, to mount indirect attacks on her character. As she came to realize that being a Pitcairner means more than climbing cliffs and weaving baskets, Birkett saw the darker face of paradise: Pitcairners sacrifice their individuality to the good of the group; with no way to evade their neighbors' watchful eyes, the islanders have no privacy. The island paradise became at last a kind of prison. An engrossing narrative, "Serpent in Paradise" is an accomplished piece of travel writing about life in one of the world's most unusual places. It is also a deeper examination of the place Pitcairn Island in particular occupies in many imaginations, of the lure of the mythical island paradise, and finally at the dark side of this myth.
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