C. E. Boniface, Relation du naufrage de L’Eole sur la côte de la Caffrerie, en avril 1829

Edited by D. J. Culpin

Critical Texts 37

Modern Humanities Research Association

1 January 2013  •  208pp

ISBN: 978-1-907322-64-8 (paperback)  •  RRP £10.99, $17.50, €13.99

ISBN: 978-1-781880-44-9 (JSTOR ebook)

ISBN: 978-1-781881-43-9 (EBSCO ebook)

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A critical edition, with Introduction and notes, of Relation du naufrage du navire français L’Eole sur la côte de la Caffrerie, en avril 1829 by C.E. Boniface, published at the Cape in French, by Bridekirk, in 1829.

The narrative recounts the fate of the Eole, a French vessel en route from Bourbon (Réunion) to France, which was wrecked in the night of 11-12 April, 285 miles beyond the eastern border of the Cape, in what was then known as Kaffraria. The narrative recounts the experience of the eight survivors, their encounter with the ‘savages’ of the region, their journey overland to Grahamstown, followed by their return by ship to Cape Town and ends with reflections upon life in Cape Town and the governance of the Colony. The narrative concludes with the departure of the last of the survivors from the Cape, on 5 September 1829.

The text was written by Charles Etienne Boniface, a French resident of Cape Town, who claims to have based his narrative on a text written by the survivors themselves and given by them to him. Although no original source exists, the details of his narrative can be confirmed from contemporary sources such as the South African Commercial Advertiser and the Government Gazette. Boniface himself is a figure of some significance in the history of the Cape during the first half of the nineteenth century. He was closely involved with the musical and theatrical life of the Colony, and these aspects of his life have received some scholarly attention. However, his Relation du Naufrage de l’Eole remains almost completely unknown. At the present time, only 9 extant copies have been located, and there is no copy held by the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Boniface’s text is of interest to the modern reader for a range of cultural, historical, literary, and biographical reason.

La Relation du naufrage du navire français l'Eole sur la côte de la Cafrerie en 1829 (Cap de Bonne Espérance: Bridekirk, 1829), fut rédigée par Charles Etienne Boniface, un Français qui résidait alors depuis plus de 20 ans au Cap. Le livre fut vite oublié et n'a jamais connu une nouvelle édition. Mais, de nos jours, le texte mérite notre attention à divers égards : il s'agit vraisemblablement du premier livre français et du premier récit de voyage jamais imprimé en Afrique du Sud; il raconte l'histoire véridique du naufrage d'un navire français sur la Wild Coast dans la province du Eastern Cape ; il relate les exploits exceptionnels des survivants, événements qui ont été depuis relégués aux oubliettes; il dépeint des rencontres entre Français et indigènes, et trace un portrait rarissime des villes de Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth et Plettenberg Bay peu d'années après leur fondation; il offre un commentaire précieux sur des réformes politiques récemment introduites au Cap; et il enrichit notre connaissance de l'auteur lui-même, qui était dans les années 1820 une figure de quelque importance au Cap.

Contents:

i-iv
Front Matter
D. J. Culpin
Cite
v-v
Table of Contents
D. J. Culpin
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vi-vi
Table Des Illustrations
D. J. Culpin
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vii-vii
Préface de Monsieur Antoine Michon, Consul de France au Cap
Antoine Michon
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viii-xl
Introduction
D. J. Culpin
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xli-xliv
Principes De L’edition
D. J. Culpin
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xlv-xlv
Remerciements
D. J. Culpin
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xlvi-liv
[Maps]
D. J. Culpin
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1-114
Relation du naufrage de l’Eole
D. J. Culpin
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115-131
NOTES SUR LE TEXTE
D. J. Culpin
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132-144
Appendice: Chronologie De La Relation Du Naufrage De L’eole Mars-Décembre 1829
D. J. Culpin
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145-152
Bibliographie
D. J. Culpin
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153-154
Back Matter
D. J. Culpin
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Bibliography entry:

Culpin, D. J. (ed.), C. E. Boniface, Relation du naufrage de L’Eole sur la côte de la Caffrerie, en avril 1829, Critical Texts, 37 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2013)

First footnote reference: 35 C. E. Boniface, Relation du naufrage de L’Eole sur la côte de la Caffrerie, en avril 1829, ed. by D. J. Culpin, Critical Texts, 37 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2013), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Culpin, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Culpin, D. J. (ed.). 2013. C. E. Boniface, Relation du naufrage de L’Eole sur la côte de la Caffrerie, en avril 1829, Critical Texts, 37 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Culpin 2013: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Culpin 2013: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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