Book Description

Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. 1818.FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, half title, hand coloured portrait frontispiece, plan of raft , rebound with gilt title and date to spine. Marble endpapers. 8vo, London, Henry Colburn, Fresh looking and tight copy without stains or damage to plates. Very attractive. Of one hundred and fifty persons embarked upon the raft, and left to their fate, only fifteen remained alive thirteen days afterwards; A first hand account of when 147 men, abandoned on a makeshift raft after their ship ran aground off the coast of africa. There followed murder, class warfare, mutiny, starvation, unimaginable depravity and eventually cannabalism. In June 1816, the French Frigate, The Medusa, and three other ships sailed for the French colony of Senegal in West Africa. An inexperienced captain would run the ship aground and a shortage of lifeboats meant that only the upper classes and senior officers would be allowed to board them. The lower classes, and a handful of crew left behind, had to build their own makeshift raft for 147 people. The lifeboats briefly towed the raft until, in an act of cowardice and cruelty, the captain cut it loose to drift away on a horrific 13-day odyssey. On the very first night adrift, 20 men were murdered, and by the fourth day there were only 67 people left alive. They had resorted to murder and cannibalism to survive. When the raft was found 13 days later, only 15 of the original 147 had survived. 1815 was a turbulent year for France. . The authors Correard and Savigny were both survivors of the Medusa shipwreck. Alexandre Correard was an engineer and Jean-Baptiste Savigny was a doctor. Their professions may have saved their lives. Their account inspired the famous painting The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault. Correard was even interviewed by Gericault, and both authors appear in the painting. Displayed for the first time in 1819, the work shook the world and scandalised high society, partly due to the portrayal of a heroic black man. A scarce edition of an important book, both politically influential as well as an insight into the horrors and suffering of being abandoned at sea. Rare and rare in this condition.
Author Savigny. J.B and Correard. A
Date 1818
Binding Hard
Publisher Henry Colburn
Condition Near Fine

Price: £667.00

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