The Islands of Unwisdom
First edition cover (US)
Doubleday (US), 1949|
Cassell (UK), 1950
It is a reconstruction of an historic event, the voyage of Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira to find the Solomon Islands. Graves tells a story with many surprising twists, in which some characters turn out to be quite different from how they are first portrayed. In Graves's telling, when the Spanish first come into contact with Solomon Islanders, the relationship is cordial. However, the Spanish expedition's need for fresh food and water quickly leads to tension and conflict, the Solomon Islanders’ subsistence economy being unable to provide continuous supplies. The real prizes are pigs, desperately needed by the Spanish, while vital to the local people’s economy. The tensions cannot be resolved, and so the Spaniards sail home. Graves also considered that the story summarizes the reasons Spain lost its early lead in exploring the world.
The novel was republished in 2003 as part of the 'Millennium Graves' edition.
- "THE ISLANDS OF UNWISDOM by Robert Graves". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "The Isles of Unwisdom by Robert Graves". Goodreads. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "The Story of Marie Powell, Wife to Mr.Milton: AND The Isles of Unwisdom (The millennium Graves) Hardcover – 30 Jan 2003". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- Reference at Books and Writers
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