Bruny D'Entrecasteaux by Dianne Johnson

Bruny D'Entrecasteaux and his encounter with Tasmanian Aborigines: from Provence to Recherche Bay

ISBN: 9780646570563
Price: AU$35.00 incl GST +p&h
Authors: Dianne Johnson

Born in eighteenth century Aix-en-Provence to French nobility, Bruny d'Entrecasteaux enjoyed a distinguished naval career as an intrepid navigator and diplomat before family tragedy struck. Dispatched by King Louis XVI in 1791 on a quest to find the missing explorer La Pérouse and to conduct extensive scientific surveys, d'Entrecasteaux embarked on a mission which saw the two small frigates Recherche and Espérance eventually take shelter from a storm in south-eastern Tasmania in 1792. It is a vibrant, meticulously researched and richly illustrated narrative which unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of the French Revolution.

The re-imagining of the encounters, on the basis of available documentary sources, provides new insights into an important part of the story of Tasmanian Aborigines and into the role that early French navigators did have (and might have had) in Australian history. The litany of French names dotted around the southern Tasmanian landscape are here given a context and significance hitherto unexplored in such an entertaining and informative manner.

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