Catherine Reverzy

Anita Conti Twenty Thousand Leagues on the Seas Publication date : September 21, 2006

This is the fascinating biography of Anita Conti (1899-1997), an adventurous woman and trailblazing oceanographer, whose life was the sea. She was also a visionary ecologist whose commitment to the protection of the oceans was well in advance of her time.

24 May 1940: the bombing of Dunkirk and the beginning of the evacuation of French and British troops to Dover, an operation that would require more than a thousand boats. On board one of the trawlers was Conti, a lively, determined woman in her early forties, and the first woman in France to be assigned to a military vessel.

Like Jacques Cousteau, Conti was a pioneering oceanographer and a major figure in French maritime history — as is amply demonstrated by her work, her articles to popularise oceanography, her photography, and her writings about the sea.

Although she once wrote, “I do not seek adventure, but observation,” she was an intrepid explorer, in the lineage of Théodore Monod and Alexandra David Néel.

Working from previously unpublished documents, Catherine Reverzy has written a great biography of a remarkable woman, with an extraordinary destiny.

Catherine Reverzy is the author of Femmes d’aventure (2001).