Okay, enough of the maudlin. As it turns out, Gericault's has more to do with an age when young men's hopes are being dashed against postwar austerity than the wreck of the Meduse frigate directly. It turns out that the wreck of the Meduse, is somehow Louis XVIII's fault, mainly, I think because "the Generation of 1820" is growing up into an unexpectedly opportunity-deprived adulthood due to post-Napoleonic austerity. The conjunction I see between the wreck of the Meduse frigate and Antarctic exploration is that incredibly green crews are sailing inconceivably remote and inaccessible places while still having shipwrecks is that navigation is actually very hard. Our attention is being drawn to a particular shipwreck because the young men of France are pissed that they don't have jobs. Historians of technology are not necessarily called upon to revise our understanding of particular historical episodes. I have no idea whether there is even a revision to be made in the history of the Meduse. Perhaps its captain and navigator really were as incompetent as the anti-Bourbon press presents them as being.
This, we see.
|Courtesy of Helicopter Pilots Only|