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The Mariner's Chronicle, Volume IV

Date: 1805
Dimensions:
Overall: 179 x 110 x 31 mm, 0.35 kg
Display Dimensions: 180 x 110 x 30 mm
Medium: Paper, leather, boards, gilt
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00015564
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Description
    A book by Archibald Duncan titled 'The Mariner's Chronicle', volume 4 of four volumes. Second edition, printed and published by James Cundee, Pall Mall, London, 1804.
    The title page depicts the full title 'The Mariner's Chronicle; being a collection of the most interesting narratives of shipwrecks, fires, famines, and other calamities incident to a life of maritime enterprise; with authentic particulars of the extraodinary adventures and sufferings of the crew, their reception and treatment on distant shores; and a concise description of the country, customs, and manners of the inhabitants: including an account of the deliverance of the survivors'.
    SignificanceArchibald Duncan's four volume publication was the first English compilation of disaster stories from the sea. Becoming hugely popular, it fed the market for such adventure and survival tales and is very representative of society’s fascination for the danger and sufferings of those at sea.
    HistoryShipwreck narratives had been a very popular form of writing since the C17th. Both dramatic and exotic, they served to entice and educate their readers with tales of heroic survival or tragedy. Through these tales of 'maritime suffering' the extremes of human suffering and endurance were expressed in wild settings.

    A sense of escapism and terror was experienced in the safety of their home which readers always found appealing. Accounts of foreign lands and people in this age of exploration was a popular theme. For lives still lived and dependent on the ocean, the threat of 'calamities' was very real. Surviving a shipwreck and being washed up on a distant store was a story worth telling. And selling.
    Often embellished, the drama of the tale and accompanying engravings could not be underestimated.
    Duncan's "Mariners Chronicle' was the first compilation of 'interesting narratives' to be published in English and became hugely popular. Feeding into the public's delight in the macabre, Duncan acknowledged that the tales of 'sufferings of the crew' would also include the often 'cruel necessity' of cannibalism. Through talking about this taboo, Duncan was able to touch upon the real appeal of these stories in general. That "readers of his anthology would recognize in the image of the famine stricken sailors a diminished image of themselves and respond not with outright horror but with mingled horror and compassion".

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: The Mariner's Chronicle; being a collection of the most interesting narratives of shipwrecks, fires, famines, and other calamities incident to a life of maritime enterprise

    Primary title: The Mariner's Chronicle, Volume IV

    Related People
    Publisher: James Cundee

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