Voyage to Australia and the Pacific 1791-1793
by Bruni d’Entrecasteaux
Edited and translated by Edward & Maryse Duyker
First English translation of de Rossel‘s transcription of d’Entrecasteaux’s journal, with introductory essay and explanatory notes.
In 1791 Admiral Bruny d’Entrecasteaux sailed with two ships from France to search for his compatriot, the explorer La Pérouse, who was missing in the Pacific.
Although d’Entrecasteaux failed to discover the fate of La Pérouse, and perished in the attempt, his voyage was more than a mere rescue mission. Between 1791 and 1793 the expedition made a number of significant geographical discoveries, including the Derwent estuary and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel between Bruny Island and mainland Tasmania, and Esperance Bay and the Archipelago of the Recherche in Western Australia.
D’Entrecasteaux’s voyage also yielded significant natural history collections and ethnographic observations, including some of the earliest recorded observations of the Aboriginal people of Tasmania and south-western Australia, and detailed accounts of the islands and peoples of the Pacific, including New Zealand, Tonga, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and New Guinea.
D’Entrecasteaux died off the coast of New Guinea in July 1793. His papers were taken back to France by E. P. E. de Rossel, who transcribed d’Entrecasteaux’s journal, and incorporated it into the official account of the voyage which was published in 1808.
De Rossel’s transcription of the journal has never been previously translated into English, though it remains an important historical source of early European contact with Australia and the Pacific, and its subject continues to attract the interest of readers. This first translation incorporates a substantial introductory essay and explanatory notes by Dr Edward Duyker, whose reputation as a scholar in this area has been established with other works, including his biography of Marion Dufresne, An Officer of the Blue (1994).
Table of Contents
I The Atlantic
II Cape of Good Hope
III Traversing the Indian Ocean
IV Van Diemen’s Land
V The Coral Labyrinths
VI Disappointment in the Admiralties
VIII Moluccas to Western Australia
IX Espérance Bay
X Coasting Terre de Nuyts
XI Return to Van Diemen’s Land
XII To New Zealand and the Friendly Islands
XIII Sojurn in Tongatabou
XIV Observations on Tongatabou
XV To New Caledonia
XVI Observations on New Caledonia
XVII From Balade to Santa Cruz
XVIII The Solomon Islands
XIX The Final Surveys
Glossary of French Terms, Titles and Ranks
Glossary of Nautical Terms
Appendix I: Decree of the National Assembly Relating to the Expedition in
Search of M. de La Pérouse, 9 February 1971
Appendix II: King’s Memorandum
Appendix III: Letter from M. Fleurieu, Minister of Marine, to Sieur d’Entrecasteaux
About the Authors:
Dr Edward Duyker is the author of twelve books, including Nature’s Argonaut (1998), his biography of the Swedish naturalist Daniel Solander which was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s General History Prize in 1999. He was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government in 2000.
Maryse Duyker has worked as a French translator and has published three books.
‘Exquisitely produced and expertly introduced and translated, this is a fascinating and insightful account of early European contact with Australia’. (National Trust (Tasmania) Newsletter, June 2001)
‘As usual, Miegunyah Press has delivered a high quality production.” (James Griffin, The Weekend Australian, July 2001)