Incompetence kills.

Next up is The Wreck of the Medusa:The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century
by Jonathan Miles. This 2007 nonfiction work chronicles one of the
deadliest maritime accidents of the 19th century as well as the famous
painting it inspired. The Medusa, a French navy frigate, due
to the utter incompetence of its captain, hit a sandbar off the coast
of west Africa en route  to the French colony of Senegal.  Thinking it
was a safe bet to construct a large raft and tow it via life boat to
the African coast, they set off to do just that. After cowardly
severing the tow rope to the raft, the life boats continued on to
Africa. 13 days later only 15 people out of nearly 150 survived long
enough to be rescued from the raft. Thirst, exposure, drowning and
murder would claim countless victims. The disaster would later inspire
Theodore Gericault to paint his famous work of art Raft of the Medusa. His painting now hangs in the Louvre.
I still can't decide if I liked this book, but I can safely say that I
didn't NOT like it. While nothing outstanding, it did a nice job
exploring the political divisions representative of Restoration-era

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One response to “Incompetence kills.

  1. Max the Communist

    Ian Miller and Gregory Peters have created a play inspired by Jonathan Miles’ book. It is called The Wreck of the Medusa and is being produced now by The Plagiarists at Mary Arrchie Theatre in Chicago. It runs now through May 20, 2010. If you are in Chicago during this time and are intrigued by Miles’ book, go see it.

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