In January 1742 a ramshackle boat washed up on the Brazilian coastline. Inside were 30 men, half starved and close to madness. Claiming to be survivors of the wrecked British vessel the Wager, they told an incredible tale of survival on the high seas. The men were hailed as heroes until, six months later, another group of castaways washed ashore. And these men had a very different story to tell about what had happened to the crew of the Wager. Author David Grann tells Ellie Cawthorne how a shipwreck led to mutiny, murder and even cannibalism.

David Grann is the author of The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder


Ellie CawthornePodcast editor, HistoryExtra

Ellie Cawthorne is HistoryExtra’s podcast editor. She also contributes to BBC History Magazine, runs the podcast newsletter and hosts several live and virtual BBC History Magazine events.