Voyage dans les Mers du Nord à bord de la corvette La Reine Hortense
In 1856, Prince Napoléon, the French Emperor's cousin, carried out a four-month expedition in the North Sea. He was accompanied by a scientific committee as well as a group of painters, photographers and writers. Among the participants was Polish novelist, playwright, poet and journalist Karol Edmund Choiecki (1822-99). In 1844, he had fled Russian persecution in Poland, having been in jeopardy due to his activism and patriotic writings. He found refuge in France and befriended such members of the intellectual elite as Gustave Flaubert and George Sand. In 1857, Choiecki published a beautifully illustrated account of the expedition, in which he shares his views on navigation and exploration as he goes via Scotland, Iceland, Norway's Jan Mayen Island, Greenland, the Faroe and Shetland Islands, and Scandinavia. Choiecki paints a lyrical picture of the journey, offering a welcome contrast and addition to the scientific accounts of his day.