"This incredible true story reads like the wildest fiction."—Booklist
In the summer of 1783 the grandees of the East India Company were horrified to learn that one of their finest ships, the 741-ton Grosvenor, had been lost on the wild and unexplored coast of southeast Africa. Astonishingly, most of those on board reached the shore safely—91 members of the crew and 34 wealthy, high-born passengers, including women and children. They were hundreds of miles from the nearest European outpost—and they were not alone. "They surveyed one another with mutual incomprehension: on the one hand the dishevelled castaways; on the other, black warriors with high conical hairstyles, daubed with red mud..." Drawing upon unpublished material and new research, Stephen Taylor pieces together the strands of this compelling saga, sifting the myths from a reality that is no less gripping. Full of unexpected twists, Caliban's Shore takes the reader to the heart of what is now South Africa, to analyze the misunderstandings that led to tragedy, to tell the story of those who returned, and to unravel the mystery of those who stayed.