The Shipwreck Cannibals: Captain John Dean and the Boon Island Flesh Eating Scandal

Category: Book
By (author): Nightingale, Adam
Subject:  HISTORY / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
  HISTORY / Military / Naval
  HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
  HISTORY / United States / General
Publisher: The History Press
Published: February 2014
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 8.00in x 5.00in x 0.70in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A long forgotten tale gets a new life as this book reveals the true story of the 18th-century shipwreck cannibalism scandal

During the fierce winter of 1710, 14 Englishmen had taken refuge on Boon Island, a sparse 100-yard long stretch of rock, without food or adequate shelter, uncertain of when or if they would be rescued. They endured for 24 days. An attempt to escape failed and four men died. Facing starvation, their captain, John Dean, gave the order to butcher and eat a member of the crew. Dean's decision fended off starvation and sustained his crew until rescue. John Dean first emerged an unlikely hero, but soon thereafter an alternative version of events began to circulate. The First Mate painted Dean as a murderous fraudster, tyrant, and an enthusiastic consumer of human flesh. Centering on the scandal that defined him, this book tells the forgotten story of John Dean; criminal, mercenary, gentleman, diplomat, and cannibal.

Biographical NoteAdam Nightingale is the author of Heroes & Villains of Nottingham and Masters of Crime.