Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

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Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.

In 1864 Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave—rather than succumb to this dismal fate—inspires his men to take action. With barely more than their bare hands, they build a cabin and, remarkably, a forge, where they manufacture their tools. Under Musgrave's leadership, they band together and remain civilized through even the darkest and most terrifying days.

Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island—twenty miles of impassable cliffs and chasms away—the Invercauld wrecks during a horrible storm. Nineteen men stagger ashore. Unlike Captain Musgrave, the captain of the Invercauld falls apart given the same dismal circumstances. His men fight and split up; some die of starvation, others turn to cannibalism. Only three survive. Musgrave and all of his men not only endure for nearly two years, they also plan their own astonishing escape, setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages in history.

Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings this extraordinary untold story to life, a story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.

About Joan Druett

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Joan Druett, an award-winning writer of nautical nonfiction, is the author of numerous works, including Hen Frigates and In the Wake of Madness. She lives in New Zealand. Visit her website at
Published June 8, 2007 by Algonquin Books. 299 pages
Genres: History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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The marooned crews of two ships that wrecked on the same island take two different approaches to survival in this fascinating non-fiction account

Jul 26 2007 | Read Full Review of Island of the Lost: Shipwreck...

Druett (In the Wake of Madness) uses the captain's and first mate's journals (published years after the incident in question) to tell the true tale of the 1864 shipwreck of the Grafton on a remote island group off of New Zealand and the ordeals of the five-man crew. Captain Musgrave led his men t...

Jul 01 2016 | Read Full Review of Island of the Lost: Shipwreck...

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