The Wreck of the Barque Stefano Off The North West Cape of Australia in 1875 - Gustave RatheCanongate, 1992, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Top edges of text block tanned.
First British Edition. [First Published: Hesperian Press, Australia] Illustrated with photographs, in colour & black and white. From the cover: “An extraordinary drama of shipwreck and survival, The Wreck of the Barque Stefano is a true story with all the ingredients of classic adventure fiction. This Croatian vessel went from Dubrovnik to Cardiff to pick up coal for Hong Kong. Off the North West Cape of Australia the ship was grounded and the sailors cast into the sea. Shipwrecks were common — 1,800 in the last quarter of the nineteenth century in that region alone — and castaways could expect a slow death. Although ten men struggled ashore, their plight was acute. The North West Cape is barren, plagued by heat and cyclones, and after three desperate months almost all were dead. The teenagers Miho Baccich and Ivan Jurich, themselves driven to cannibalism, were rescued by aborigines, members of a nomadic tribe whose generosity and compassion saved their lives. Eventually a pearling ship turned toward shore in a storm and they were discovered. A year after the wreck the two returned to Dubrovnik and told a Jesuit scholar of their experiences. Gustave Rathe, Miho Baccich’s grandson, first read the account as a boy in 1930. He has sought out other descendents of the principal characters and pin-pointed the sites of much of the story. In the spirit of Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island, this deft adaptation of the original document unlocks a true story rich in human insight.”