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Scurvy. Amputation. Tropical disease. Irritable captains. Mutinous crews. Such were the trials facing the men who shipped out as doctors on South Seas whalers in the early nineteenth century. Using diaries, journals and correspondence the author tells a fascinating story of remarkable men undergoing unbelievable hardships. In this lively and often darkly humorous tale we learn what type of person would sign on for a dangerous three year voyage across the globe, what types of medicines and surgical tools were available and what sort of people they encountered on remote South Seas islands.
Joan Druettis the author ofShe Captains: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea(2000) andHen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail(1998). She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.