Read The Tragic History of the Sea by Charles Ralph Boxer Online


An expert on perils of the high seas, British native Boxer (1904-2000) translated the Portuguese collection of accounts, originally published as pamphlets, The Tragic History of the Sea 1589-1622 in 1959 and Further Selections from the Tragic History of the Sea 1599-1565 in 1968. They were published...

Title : The Tragic History of the Sea
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ISBN : 9780816638901
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 536 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Tragic History of the Sea Reviews

  • Nathan
    2019-04-01 05:47

    "I love a book called Tragic History of the Sea, a collection of 16th century reports of shipwrecks. Ships coming from India, dangerously overstuffed with spices, tended to shipwreck off the coast of Africa; the few survivors made it to land and then started long marches hoping to be saved by some Arab caravan that traded slaves with the Portuguese. These reports, written by survivors or dictated to scribes once they arrived in Lisbon, weren’t trying to be literary, aren’t jewels of language; they have the force of reportage and describe extraordinary things in simple prose; these survivors had to eat bugs, went mad, fought off Africans, were captured, eaten; some were sheltered by tribes, but not for free; the Africans were savvy enough to know Portuguese merchants passing by would ransom them back. People who read this amazing human document will acquire a totally different idea of European-African relationships than the traditional one about oppressors and oppressed (that didn’t become true until the 19th century, with colonialism). The book only predates by 500 years the thesis of David Northrup’s Africa’s Discovery of Europe 1450-1850, namely that in Africa Africans called the shots, that they were not the passive, easily duped ingénues of popular culture. By the way, Charles R. Boxer, a great historian who translated Tragic History of the Sea, was quite ungenerous in leaving out the name of Bernardo Gomes de Brito from the cover; BGB didn’t write these reports but, as an 18th century bibliophile, he collected and edited them into the two-volume book we currently have, so he deserves credit for saving and divulging such important documents to the study of Europe and Africa."