"The Confusion has a total of 815 pages which are papers from writer 'Neal Stephenson'. It is the late 1600s on the high seas. A group of Barbary galley slaves plot as they ply the oars of a pirate ship. These ten men - unfortunates from around the world impressed into servitude - have heard whispers of an enormous cache of Spanish gold. Together, they hatch a daring scheme - escape their chains, seize a ship, and find the treasure. And, amazingly, they succeed - leaving some very unhappy men behind who vow to hunt down the vagabonds and bring them to justice, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, back in France . . . The beautiful Eliza, toast of Versailles and spy extraordinaire, attempts to return to London with her baby, a child whose paternity is shrouded in mystery. As she makes her way home from the Continent, her ship is stopped by a French privateer - and she is returned to the Sun King's court. Thrown back into a web of international intrigue, Eliza must contend with all manner of characters, including buccaneers, poisoners, Jesuits, financial manipulators, and ever the stray cryptographer or two.-In this hugely ambitious, profoundly compelling adventure, Neal Stephenson brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters in a time of breathtaking genius and discovery - men and women whose exploits defined an age known as the Baroque. 2004-01-01 time of publication of the book, [-Arrow-]"