This classic tale of shipwreck and survival is reprinted with essays that provide a historical perspective and trace the sources from which Kenneth Roberts (1885-1957) drew his tale. A native Mainer, Roberts, whose historical novels include Northwest Passage and Arundel, was intrigued by the story of the December 1710 wreck of the Nottingham. After running aground a dozen miles offshore, the ship broke up, stranding her crew with minimal tools, scant shelter, and a few pieces of cheese. The men survived nearly a month of screeching gales, sub-freezing temperatures, and driving snowstorms. During their ordeal they resorted to cannibalism and were finally rescued after one of them made it ashore on a crude raft. Included here are contemporary accounts from crew members, offering dramatically different versions of the true-life traumatic event and a fascinating counterpoint to Roberts' fictionalized version. A bestseller when published in 1956, Boon Island is a story of the ways that crisis can inspire the best—and worst—in human nature.