The story of the seamen and ships of the Swedish East India Company.
After the death of Karl XII, the Swedish Empire declined and gave way to a more liberal atmosphere of peacetime. Reconstruction of the war-scarred economy began. Trade provided the country with new wealth and Swedish raw materials were in demand abroad. Swedish shipyards started to build merchant vessels with holds large enough to ship precious cargoes across the oceans of the world.
The Swedish East India Company was founded in 1731 and was destined to become the most successful company in Swedish history. It was granted sole rights to trade with the East. During the following 82 years, 37 ships sailed to China and India on 132 different expeditions. The English, Dutch and French were already established in those areas where the Swedes were determined to enter. The trading companies of those great naval powers, with their hundreds of ships manned by thousands of crew, regarded the newcomers with hostility and did everything in their power to hinder Swedish trade.
Despite the loss of many ships and thousands of deaths due to accidents and bad conditions, the Swedes continued their voyages round Africa and across the vast Indian Ocean. They defied the established European powers, fickle local rulers, pirates and treacherous weather conditions.
Author: Robert Hermansson
Publishing year: 2004
No. of pages: 168
The book is also available in Swedish.