On Wilder Seas by Nikki Marmery Book Review

On Wilder Seas by Nikki Marmery Book Review

On Wilder Seas imagines the life of ‘Maria’, an enslaved Guinean trying to forge a life for herself within the context of the early modern Age of Discovery.

Rather than glorifying the male, white European quest for new lands, peoples, and things, Marmery confronts us with some of the grimmer realities of colonisation. Maria remembers and describes the experience of being invaded and enslaved, and doesn’t shy away from gruesome details of violence, assault, and trauma.

Through luck, chance, and cunning, she finds herself aboard the Golden Hind, headed for England and freedom – but ‘the General’ is relentless in his pursuit for new discoveries and glory, whatever the cost.

There’s a sort of magic in remembering that this is all based – albeit taking hefty creative licence – on historical events; sailors really did live and die in those cramped quarters, travelling, uncomfortably, to distant and strange lands. As is often forgotten in the official histories, women were part of those journeys too, and telling this story from a female perspective makes for a compelling read.

So with the Golden Hind itself a mere stone’s throw from Shakespeare’s Globe, why not grab a copy, stroll past the ship, and immerse yourself in its epic (and problematic) journeys?

 Reviewed by Jesse (Senior Marketing Manager)


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