Ghost Ship by Brian Hicks
The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew

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Synopsis

On December 4th, 1872, a 100-foot brigantine was discovered drifting through the North Atlantic without a soul on board. Not a sign of struggle, not a shred of damage, no ransacked cargo—and not a trace of the captain, his wife and daughter, or the crew. What happened on board the ghost ship Mary Celeste has baffled and tantalized the world for 130 years. In his stunning new book, award-winning journalist Brian Hicks plumbs the depths of this fabled nautical mystery and finally uncovers the truth.

The Mary Celeste was cursed as soon as she was launched on the Bay of Fundy in the spring of 1861. Her first captain died before completing the maiden voyage. In London she accidentally rammed and sank an English brig. Later she was abandoned after a storm drove her ashore at Cape Breton. But somehow the ship was recovered and refitted, and in the autumn of 1872 she fell to the reluctant command of a seasoned mariner named Benjamin Spooner Briggs. It was Briggs who was at the helm when the Mary Celeste sailed into history.

In Brian Hicks’s skilled hands, the story of the Mary Celeste becomes the quintessential tale of men lost at sea. Hicks vividly recreates the events leading up to the crew’s disappearance and then unfolds the complicated and bizarre aftermath—the dark suspicions that fell on the officers of the ship that intercepted her; the farcical Admiralty Court salvage hearing in Gibraltar; the wild myths that circulated after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published a thinly disguised short story sensationalizing the mystery. Everything from a voodoo curse to an alien abduction has been hauled out to explain the fate of the Mary Celeste. But, as Brian Hicks reveals, the truth is actually grounded in the combined tragedies of human error and bad luck. The story of the Mary Celeste acquired yet another twist in 2001, when a team of divers funded by novelist Clive Cussler located the wreck in a coral reef off Haiti.

Written with the suspense of a thriller and the vivid accuracy of the best popular history, Ghost Ship tells the unforgettable true story of the most famous and most fascinating maritime mystery of all time.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Brian Hicks

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Brian Hicks is a senior writer for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. where he lives. This is his fifth book on Cherokee heritage.
 
Published June 1, 2004 by Ballantine Books. 304 pages
Genres: History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Hicks knows when to pull back, though, and admit that there are certain things that are just plain creepy, like the strange last log entry, “Francis my own dear wife Francis N.R.,” or the undeniable string of bad luck that afflicted every owner of the Mary Celeste before and after the incident.

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Publishers Weekly

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On December 4, 1872, a small merchant ship, the Mary Celeste , was discovered floating without a crew. Members of another vessel, the Dei

May 03 2004 | Read Full Review of Ghost Ship: The Mysterious Tr...

Publishers Weekly

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On December 4, 1872, a small merchant ship, the Mary Celeste , was discovered floating without a crew.

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Entertainment Weekly

In an exhaustively researched book that sometimes bogs down in the sheer mass of facts, Hicks engagingly reconstructs the events and Originally posted Jun 04, 2004 Published in issue #768 Jun 04, 2004 Order article reprints

Jun 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Ghost Ship: The Mysterious Tr...

Las Vegas Review Journal

Such was the case with “Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew.” A while back I was listening to a Clive Cussler audio book (one of his NUMA series) and heard a reference to the Mary Celeste, which was found empty and adrift in the North Atlantic in 1972.

Jul 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Ghost Ship: The Mysterious Tr...

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