The Pearl Lagoon

Charles Nordhoff

This is the story of Charlie Seldon, who lives on the coast of California on a ranch purchased from a Spanish land grant. Charlie's uncle, Harry Seldon, long ago left home and became a trader in the south seas. One evening his schooner, the Tara, puts in unexpectedly for a single night – for Uncle Harry to convince Charlie's parents to let Charlie come along on a several-month voyage to the south seas, to Tahiti and to the Pearl Lagoon of Iriatai. Charlie goes, and this story of his adventures, the people he meets and the tribes and customs of the south sea islanders at the turn of the century is gripping and fascinating.

Charles Nordhoff was the author with James Hall of the Bounty Trilogy and knew the South Seas as few other authors did, and he evokes the places, people and customs with surety. This book was published in 1924 and I can only regret that it hadn't made it to England in time to become one of the Swallows' favorites, because I think it would have rivaled Robinson Crusoe in Titty's estimation (remember Titty and Roger diving for pearls?) I recommend it very highly to readers 12 and over with a sense of adventure themselves.

Reviewed by Dave Thewlis, February, 2001

This article is ©2001 by David C. Thewlis, and posted on All Things Ransome with permission.

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