Treachery at Sharpnose Point: Unraveling the Mystery of the Caledonia's Final Voyage

by Jeremy Seal

While walking through a cliff-top graveyard in the village of Morwenstow on the coast of Cornwall, the author encounters a wooden Scottish maiden trimmed with emblems and a shield. At first, Seal presumes the maiden is merely an elaborate headstone. But upon closer inspection, he realizes that the maiden, now a guardian for the graves she overlooks, was once the figurehead of a merchant ship. He learns that she adorned the Caledonia, a ship wrecked on the English coast in 1842, and that the crew had been benevolently buried there by the villagers. Further investigation leads Seal to suspect those villagers, and chiefly the village's parson, Robert Hawker, for the Caledonia's sudden demise. Though no one has ever been brought to court for "wrecking"--luring ships ashore to loot the cargo--it's a commonly held belief that this did take place. But, is that what happened in Morwenstow, a village cruelly perched above a jagged, inhospitable shore?

Having meticulously researched maritime logs and burial registers, broadsides of the day, diary entries, and other first-hand documents, Seal weaves history, travelogue, and imaginative narrative into this marvelous piece of detective work, bringing us a mystery of the best kind--the sort that really did happen.

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780156027052
  • ISBN-10: 0156027054
  • Pages: 336
  • Publication Date: 01/07/2003
  • Carton Quantity: 9999
About the Book
About the Author
Reviews
  • About the Book

    While walking through a cliff-top graveyard in the town of Morwenstow on the coast of Cornwall, the author encounters a wooden Scottish figurehead that once adorned the Caledonia, a ship wrecked on the English coast in 1842. Through further investigation, Seal begins to suspect the townspeople, and chiefly the town's parson, Robert Hawker, for the Caledonia's demise on the jagged shores below. Though no one has ever been brought to court for "wrecking"--luring ships ashore to loot the cargo--it's a commonly held belief that this sort of cruelty did take place. But, is that what happened in Morwenstow?

    Having meticulously researched maritime logs, broadsides of the day, and other first-hand documents, Seal weaves history, travelogue, and imaginative reconstruction in this marvelous piece of detective work, bringing us a mystery of the best kind--the sort that really did happen.

  • About the Author
  • Excerpts
  • Reviews

    PRAISE FOR JEREMY SEAL

    "Seal's writing is vivid, humorous, and wonderfully chilling."--Outside

    "Seal tells fascinating stories and complements them with lore that is funny . . . and mesmerizing."--Men's Journal

    PRAISE FOR TREACHERY AT SHARPNOSE POINT

    "Most compelling. This lively, well-paced book is highly recommended."--Library Journal (starred review)

    "Exceptional . . . Seal's riveting story will be a certain winner."--Booklist

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