By the author of The Three Bamboos, based on little known and quite fascinating historical evidence, this is the story of the Bonin Islands in the Pacific, sighted and claimed as a colony by Britain, settled by an American who made an orderly community of them, bickered over by both countries -- then neglected by both when Japan slowly, ruthlessly appropriated them. Through the fictional story of Richard Maidlow who came to Bonin to find sanctuary, the history of these isolated -- and for a time Htopian, islands emerges. Maidlow marries a native girl of mixed blood, as does Nat Savory, the governor. Their children, and those of other original settlers, are ignorant of caste and color until the younger Maidlows have one brief, disillusioning experience with socalled civilization in Hongkong. The end comes when Japanese infiltration finally forces them out, while England and America refuse their appeals for protection. A well blended balance of fiction and fact and unusual material for an ultimately sad story.