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Galley Slave

A compelling first-hand account of a galley slave in the early eighteenth century, written by a French Protestant who was subjected to harrowing conditions and murderous toil, all for the sake of his beliefs.
£12.99

Author: Marteilhe, Jean
ISBN: 9781848320703

A compelling first-hand account of a galley slave in the early eighteenth century, written by a French Protestant who was subjected to harrowing conditions and murderous toil, all for the sake of his beliefs.

This remarkable memoir tells of the miseries of Jean Marteilhe, 'a Protestant condemned to the Galleys of France for his Religion', who after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, attempted like so many French Huguenots, to escape to the more sympathetic Protestant countries bordering France. However, captured by French Dragoons he was thrown into gaol, there to await his fate.

In 1707 he found himself condemned to serve in the French Mediterranean galleys. So little is known of life as a galley slave--certainly no accounts have come down to us from ancient Greece or Rome--that Marteilhe's extraordinary account represents the only authentic record of the miseries of those who experienced the appalling onboard conditions, the horrors of 'whips and chains,' and the dreaded 'bastinado'--foot whipping.

For six years he pulled his oar, often seeing friends and co-religionists lashed---sometimes to death---under the whips of the overseers, before being released under a general amnesty in 1713. This new, abridged edition brings vividly to lifethe suffering and fearful conditions found in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century galleys; it is a unique and unforgettable account.

Publication date: 14 Dec 2010
Hardback