Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cape Colony historical find

Dr David Culpin, of the School of Modern Languages, in the Special Collections of the National Library of South Africa, in Cape Town where he found a very important book describing the shipwreck of a French vessel on the coast of southern Africa in 1829, and the survivors' 200 mile walk to safety. The book gives a rare account of encounters between Europeans and the indigenous Xhosa population as well as offering an eye-witness description of several towns in South Africa just a few years after their establishment. In addition, this account is the first book in French and the first travel narrative ever to have been published in Cape Colony. Following this discovery, Dr Culpin is working to produce modern critical editions of this text, in English and in French. The project is funded by the British Academy and the Carnegie Trust.