By the end of the 18th century, Corsica had been occupied by France for over thirty years. Islanders yearned to recover their lost independence, and the French Revolution gave them the opportunity. Their leader, Pasquale Paoli, realized that alone they could never defeat the well-organized French forces. He offered Corsica to King George III of England, on condition that the French were driven from the island.
Based on documented historical fact, the author paints a detailed portrait of Corsica through the captivating adventures of Damian Berra, a young man from what is today the Swiss canton of Valais. After wandering through Lombardy to the Ligurian coast, as the victim of a press gang on a French frigate, he becomes marooned on Corsica, an island infested with bandits and crippled with vendettas, where murders are seven times more numerous than in mainland France.
The story also describes the attempts of the English to administer an island they eventually called “The Ungovernable Rock.”
Nigel Patten was born near London in 1940 and has lived in Switzerland since 1961, writing and teaching English in an alpine lycée. He has published nine books, including historical novels, a biography, and a three-act play on the last weeks of the life of poet Percy Shelley, and has twice won a Reader’s Favorite Award. The author has traveled widely on all continents, driving from Switzerland to India and back. For many years he sailed his own boat in the Greek islands, and has twice climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, as well as hiked other famous mountain trails. He has also directed and acted in numerous stage plays.