2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Convicted of a murder he did not commit, Sharière, nicknamed Moth, was sent to a colony in French Guiana. Forty-two days after his arrival, he made his first escape. Having overcome thousands of grueling miles in an open boat, the fugitive was nevertheless caught and placed in a prison cell. Unbroken Henri Charrière did not give up trying to regain his freedom, and his ninth flight was crowned with success. Many years later, he wrote an autobiographical book, which quickly became a bestseller, and eventually was even filmed.
Childhood and youth
In the city of Saint-Etienne-de-Lugdare (Department of Ardèche, France) in the family of teachers Joseph Charrière and Marie-Louise Thierry on November 16, 1906, the son of Henri was born. The third child and the only boy in the family, he, despite his absurd nature, grew up as a favorite of his parents and sisters. As a teenager, Henri Charrière became the ringleader of local tomboys and a headache for merchants. The First World War changed everything, when in 1914 his father was drafted intoarmy. The boy had to grow up quickly and take responsibility for his mother and sisters.
At the end of the war, the father returned and, despite the wound of the breadwinner, the family had hope that everything would be as before, but fate decreed otherwise. In 1917, the mother died, and the whole family plunged into mourning. The young Henri Charrière suffered the loss especially hard: he became withdrawn, became aggressive, quarrelsome and spent days on the street in the company of local hooligans. Joseph Charrière, wanting to wrest his son out of bad company, sends him to the Cross boarding house, located in the Drome department. But very soon, Anri's aggressive behavior leads to a fight with one of the students, the consequence of which is a serious injury to the latter. To avoid prosecution, his father forces seventeen-year-old Henri to sign a contract with the French Navy.
After entering the military service, the young man goes to Toulon. However, in the service, Charrière does not differ in exemplary behavior and very soon finds himself in Corsica in a disciplinary regiment. In the company of the same rebels, inclined to disregard the law, young Charrière feels understood. For ease of communication and the ability to rush to what he wants, like a butterfly to fire, his friends made him a tattoo in the form of a moth on his chest. This is how Henri Charrière got his nickname. The moth became his symbol and the title of his future autobiographical book.
At the end of his military service in 1927, Henri decided to try his luck in big sport. Because back in his school years, and then while serving in the Navy, he decently played rugby. But a negative track record prevented him from qualifying for a team of professionals. Frustrated, Henri Charrière goes to Paris, where, thanks to his adventurous inclinations, he becomes a significant figure in the criminal world. He leads a stormy and cheerful lifestyle, knows no shortage of money and female attention. Everything changed in 1930, when Charrière became embroiled in the murder of pimp Roland Legrand. Despite the lack of witnesses and evidence of guilt, the young man was convicted of murder on October 28, 1931. Sentenced to life hard labor, Henri Charrière was sent to a prison camp in French Guiana. His biography later seemed completely bleak, but Moth was not going to put up with this state of affairs.
Long way to freedom
Charière made his first attempt to escape from Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni prison on September 5, 1934. In an open boat, Henri covered two and a half thousand kilometers by sea, but despite a lot of effort, he was captured. As punishment, he was placed in a punishment cell. In Guiana, Henri Charrière (Moth) spent eleven long years, of which he spent two years in solitary confinement. During his imprisonment, he tried to escape nine times. Charrier's efforts were crowned with success in 1941 on Devil's Island, when, with the help of two bags of coconuts, he managed to swim out of the place of detention. However, having arrived in Venezuela after many adventures experiencedfor months of wandering, he again fell into the hands of the police and spent another year in a local prison. After his release, Sharière decided to stay in Venezuela, got married and started an honest business as a restaurateur. He returned to his homeland at an advanced age after the publication of his book.
Henri Charrière: books
All attempts to regain freedom, the adventures that had to be experienced during the period of wandering, including life in the Indian tribe of Colombia, Sharière described in his autobiographical book "Moth". The novel was published in 1969 and immediately gained popularity among readers, and in 1973 it was filmed, and "Moth" also won the hearts of the audience. In the 1970s, Sharière wrote another autobiographical book called "All In".
The writer died July 29, 1973 in Madrid from cancer. Controversy continues about the veracity of the information presented in his works. Some researchers of the facts from the life of Charrière believe that much of what is described in the book did not happen to him and is only a retelling of the adventures experienced by other prisoners. In any case, the books turned out to be interesting and deserve the attention of the reader.
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