'Being about to write down the disastrous voyage of this great ship, it occurred to me how rash men are in their undertakings, chief among which, or one of the greatest is confiding their lives to four planks lashed together, and to the discretion of the furious winds.' So wrote Henrique Dias, an eye-witness of the wreck of the Sao Paulo off Sumatra and the subsequent fate of the survivors.
His account is one of three narratives, here translated into English for the first time, of certain shipwrecks which befell the Portuguese in the mid-16th century.
The other two describe the wrecking of two East Indiamen off the East African coast, and the misadventures of a voyage from Brazil to Lisbon.
In his introduction, Professor Boxer describes the lives of the three chroniclers, and gives bibliographical details of their works.
The narratives are translated from the original accounts which Bernardo Gomes de Brito included in his Historia Tragico-Maritima (Lisbon, 1735-36).
The present volume forms a companion to Professor Boxer's earlier work The Tragic History of the Sea, 1589-1622 (Hakluyt Society, 1959).
This is a new print-on-demand hardback edition of the volume first published in 1968.