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Release: Pacific Scoundrels

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Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific
17 May 2018

Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific, by John Dunmore

On Sale June 14, 2018 ($39.99 RRP, Upstart Press)

Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific is a wonderfully crafted 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.

About the Author

John Dunmore, CNZM, Officier de la Légion d’honneur, Ordre des Palmes académiques, DLitt, PhD, is a much-published author and world authority on Pacific exploration, recognised for his service by the governments of both New Zealand and France. He was responsible for finding and translating the journals of La Pérouse which had been lost in the French National Archives for over 200 years.  John was a founding staff member at Massey University, establishing the Modern Languages department.

At the age of 95, he’s one of New Zealand’s oldest published authors, with a remarkable bibliography to his name. Scoundrels & Eccentrics of the Pacific is his 70th book.