'Document of depravity' to sell at Bonhams



2015-06-26 11:55:41

'Document of depravity' to sell at Bonhams

The journal of a drink and sex-fuelled 19th century ship's voyage to Australia will auction in London

As the after-effects of this weekend's drink-sodden debauchery die down, Bonhams will be preparing its sale of a diary outlining similar shenanigans... from 1838.

The 225-page volume in question features the writings of James Bell, whosailed on the Planter vessel from Deptford, southeast London, to Adelaide, Australia, over five months.

After setting sail in November, 1838, Bell's journal details the ensuing debauchery between passengers and crew. "With all this whoring and drunkenness," he writes, "It is amazing this ship ever arrived in Australia."

 Private Journal of A Voyage to Australia 1838-39, by James Bell

Among the goings on documented by Bell is the captain's alleged seduction of two of the 11 daughters of McGowan, a Liverpool doctor. Further tales concern the gang of prostitutes who were among the passengers.

Discovered by a collector at a book stall, this remarkable chronicle of wanton depravity will auction at Bonhams with an estimate of $4,000.

The sale takes place this Tuesday (March 23), in London.

Image: Bonhams

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it