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Shipwreck: A Poetic Drama

Date: 1948
Overall: 330 x 255 x 22 mm, 1.35 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, leather
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00028959

User Terms

    This book 'Shipwreck: A Poetic Drama', was written by Douglas Stewart and illustrated with drawings and engravings by Norman Lindsay. Number 61 of 100 deluxe-edition copies, it features the signatures of both Stewart and Lindsay. The book is divided into three 'Acts', which tell the story of the shipwreck of the BATAVIA.
    SignificanceThis mid-20th century publication signifies the enduring public interest in the dramatic tale of the wrecking of the Dutch East India Company ship BATAVIA off the Western Australian coast in 1629.
    HistoryOne of the most famous maritime incidents to have occurred during European contact with Australia is the wreck of the Dutch East India Company ship BATAVIA in the Abrolhos Group of Islands off the coast of Western Australia in 1629.

    The subsequent murder of over 125 survivors during a mutiny led by Jerome Cornelius and the heroic defence by the remaining survivors, led by Webbie Heyes. The dramatic appearance of the rescuers during the final assault on the loyalist camp, the punishment of the mutineers and the archaeological investigation, excavation and interpretation of the survivor's camps and BATAVIA wreck site has captured the imagination of the general public.

    With such a fantastic story, it is no wonder that the well-known New Zealand born poet, author and literary critic Douglas Alexander Stewart (1913-1985) teamed up with one of Australia’s most popular artists and book illustrator, Norman Alfred William Lindsay (1879-1969) to produce and illustrate ‘Shipwreck: A Poetic Drama’.

    Originally proposed as a screen play based on a number of historical accounts on the wreck of the BATAVIA held at the State Library of New South Wales and was published in a strictly limited deluxe edition of 100 copies. This edition quickly sold out, and a second edition, with only one illustration was published later in the same year. Both editions are now very scarce.

    Related People
    Illustrator: Norman Lindsay

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