Excerpt from The Land That Never Was by David Sinclair, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Land That Never Was

Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Most Audacious Fraud in History

by David Sinclair

The Land That Never Was
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2004, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Late in the afternoon, they set sail again, their course due west, past Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. Captain Crouch ordered a watch for any sign of the pirates who were known to infest these waters, confident that they could be driven off by his nine-pound cannon, but the only vessels they saw were harmless traders, and by 14 March the Kennersley Castle was out of the danger zone, with Jamaica fading into the horizon behind her. Four days later, she had reached the Swan Islands, in what the settlers' maps called the Sea of Poyais, where she turned south for Cape Camaron and the promised land.

They reached it towards the end of the day on 20 March, dropping anchor half a mile or so out to sea from the narrow entrance of the Black River lagoon, the Captain being concerned about the reefs and sandbanks that might lurk unknown to his imperfect charts and endanger such a large ship. He would wait until morning before sending out a lighter whose crew would take soundings and find the channel that, at high tide, would bring them closer to the shore to await the pilot boat from the port. After eight weeks at sea, another day was hardly going to make much difference. For the passengers, their first sight of Poyais confirmed everything they had imagined. It really was the most beautiful place. Sun-dappled wavelets lapped gently along the rocks of the lagoon's protective landspits, the surface of which was thick with strange trees and shrubs. Inland, they could make out sandy beaches, and beyond them the dense forests they had heard about. There, dominating the landscape, was the Sugarloaf mountain, just as in the picture they had seen. Below it, too far away and too low to be in view, must be the little township where they would disembark. The settlers stayed on deck watching this vision until it disappeared in the short tropical twilight. As they sat down to the evening meal, which would almost certainly be their last aboard the ship that had been their lodging for what now seemed like an eternity, they could barely contain their impatience to disembark.

When would they be able to take to the boats and go ashore? Would there be some sort of official welcome for them? Perhaps it would be as well to dress up in whatever finery they could muster, just in case.

Copyright 2003 by David Sinclair. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: All We Have Left
    All We Have Left
    by Wendy Mills
    September 11, 2001 is a date that few Americans will ever forget. It was on this day that our ...
  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.