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Coming May 7, 2024


Left For Dead: Shipwreck, Treachery, and Survival at the Edge of the World


The true story of five castaways abandoned on the Falkland Islands during the War of 1812—a tale of treachery, shipwreck, isolation, and the desperate struggle for survival


The bestselling author of Black Flags, Blue Waters tells the story of a wild encounter between an American sealing vessel, a shipwrecked British brig, and a British warship in the Falkland Islands during the War of 1812—an encounter fraught with misunderstandings and mistrust that left three British sailors and two Americans, including the captain of the sealer, Charles H. Barnard, abandoned in the Falklands for eighteen months. A tale of intriguing complexity, with surprising twists and turns throughout —involving greed, lying, bullying, a hostile takeover, stellar leadership, ingenuity, severe privation, endurance, banishment, the great value of a dog, the birth of a baby, a perilous thousand mile open-ocean journey in a seventeen-foot boat, an improbable rescue mission, and legal battles over a dubious and disgraceful wartime prize—Left for Dead shows individuals in wartime under great duress acting both nobly and atrociously, and offers a unique perspective on an important moment in American history.  


Advance Praise for Left for Dead

Left for Dead is a true tale of shipwreck, survival, betrayal and redemption featuring a complex web of multi-dimensional characters, set in one of the most desolate and remote island archipelagos, the Falklands, during the Age of Sail. An absorbing adventure that explores the dark shadows of instinct and self-preservation, and the hardships and stress that stretch the bonds of humanity. Fascinating reading.” —Stephen R. Bown, author of Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on the World’s Greatest Scientific Expedition


"Eric Jay Dolin's depiction of early 1800s seafaring is filled with as much adventure, intrigue, action, and colorful characters as any classic Hollywood movie. Surviving a thousand-mile ocean journey in a small boat is just one of several scintillating ingredients. Left for Dead is a true account that reads like a grizzled sailor's tall tale." —Tom Clavin, author of Lightning Down: A World War II Story of Survival


"In Left for Dead, a handful of sailors abandoned on a remote island by their mates more than two centuries ago is only the beginning. Eric Jay Dolin delivers surprise after surprise. With a plot worthy of the best seafaring fiction, Dolin's gripping narrative has the added fascination of being entirely true."—Andrea Pitzer, author of Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World


“No one writes maritime history with as much passion and vibrancy as Eric Jay Dolin. Left For Dead transports us to the remote, wind-scoured Falkland Islands in the early 19th century and brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters: speculators, convicts, scallywags, sea captains, and captains of industry—driven by country, greed, and the will to live at any cost. This is narrative history (and natural history) of the highest caliber. A riveting, rollicking read.”Buddy Levy, author of Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk


Left for Dead is a truly extraordinary story told in gripping fashion and vivid detail, but – and this is what makes it all so amazing – none of it is fiction, it all, every bit of it, actually happened.”—Mensun Bound, author of The Ship Beneath the Ice: The Discovery of Shackleton’s Endurance

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