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The Wager by David Grann

The Wager is the story of the British ship of the same name, which set out in 1740 as part of a fleet looking for treasure-laden Spanish galleons.  Shipwrecked off the coast of Patagonia, two separate groups of survivors somehow made their way to Brazil.

The book provides an insight into the conditions at sea at the time, but also offers a fascinating account of what happened before, during and after the ship ran aground, based on the contemporaneous diaries of one member of the crew.

While the Wager is a factual account, albeit from the perspective of the protagonist, it could easily be mistaken for fiction as the story, rather than a slew of historical facts, is very much to the fore.

Bought as a holiday read, it fits very much in the page-turner category and managed to be both educational and engaging at the same time. Something that not all non-fiction titles manage.

Recommended by Cate

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