The first in the Sydney University/Picador From Thesis to Book Project.
In the late nineteenth century, when most of the South Pacific was under colonial rule, a young sailor and aspiring artist, Adolf Gustav Plate, boarded a ship bound for Germany's colonies on the other side of the world.
One hundred years later Adolf's grand-daughter, Cassi Plate, retrieved treasures from the bottom of his old sea trunk and began to see the world through his eyes: the eyes of a painter, a photographer, a publisher and a relentless, restless traveller. She found stories of island mythology and beautiful paintings of his wanderings on land and at sea, discovered a ship's ghost and a portrait of a princess, learned of the friendship between her grandfather and Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa, and read newspaper clippings from Adolf's time as Western Australia's pre-eminent artist.
Inspired by these discoveries, Cassi set out on her own journeys. Travelling across Australia and the Pacific in Adolf's footsteps, exploring the places he tried and failed to make his home, she came to understand what it means to be a restless spirit.