"Voyages to the South Seas" is an epic narrative encompassing a remarkable period of French and Australian history - when Australia was France's Mars and marsupials were her aliens. Tracing the often tragic voyages of Bougainville, Laperouse, D'Entrecasteaux, Baudin, Freycinet, d'Urville and others to Australia from 1768-1828, "Voyages to the South Seas" documents the changing society that launched these ambitious endeavours and the scientific discoveries they brought back. Australia may have been colonised by England but for many years, by sheer weight of specimens and scientific documentation, Australia's biodiversity belonged to France. "Voyages to the South Seas" is the story of noble men impoverished by their passion and nobodies who made their names through physical courage and intellectual achievement. It is the story of the young men who risked their lives for adventure and excitement but above all, in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
Publisher: Melbourne University Press