Two accounts of terrible shipwreck and the struggle for survival
The wreck of the Medusa is one of the most famous and infamous shipwrecks from the great age of sailing ships. The Medusa was a French frigate which struck the Bank of Arguin, off the coast of Senegal in 1816 shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The vessel had to be abandoned and this was undertaken with such complete incompetence by the officers and crew that it resulted in the loss of over 150 lives in such appalling circumstances that it scandalised the general public of Europe and became an incurable embarrassment for the French government of the day. The event was even immortalised by a great artist of the period, and Gericaults Raft of the Medusa endures to ensure it still remains widely known in all its horror two centuries later. The outrage of the Medusa gained particular notoriety because several of the survivors wrote harrowing accounts of their experiences of the events that took place. Two of these first hand narratives are included in this Leonaur edition making it a fascinating book for all those with an interest in sailing ships, voyages of times past and the perils of the sea….
J. B. Henry Savigny