Darien: A Journey in Search of Empire
Paperback | Jun 2018 | Birlinn | 9781780275031 | 288pp | 234x156mm | Forthcoming | RFB | AUD$29.99, NZD$34.99
The Company of Scotland and its attempts to establish the colony of Caledonia on the inhospitable isthmus of Panama in the late seventeenth century is one of the most tragic moments of Scottish history. Devised by William Paterson, the stratagem was to create a major trading station between Europe and the East. It could have been a triumph, but inadequate preparation and organization ensured it was a catastrophe– of the 3000 settlers who set sail in 1688 and 1699, only a handful returned, the rest having succumbed to disease, and the enormous financial loss was a key factor in ensuring union with England in 1707.