Voyage to Australia and the Pacific 1791-1793, by Bruni d’Entrecasteaux – Edited and translated by Edward & Maryse Duyker

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

 VII Amboina

 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)

2 thoughts on “Voyage to Australia and the Pacific 1791-1793, by Bruni d’Entrecasteaux – Edited and translated by Edward & Maryse Duyker

  1. Hello, I think in 1791, when the French hightailed it down to New Holland they had realised that the Englicise folk had no respect for the would be claims of Dutch or French whom had predated claimants in the region…
    The fact that the Vessel – that Bruny D’Entrecasteaux had sailed and cartographically mapped whole swathes of coastline in Van Dieman’s Land – was eventually taken as a hostage situation, by the English (whom still want to be known as British – as an Imperial Ideology), the maps that had been accrued by the sea faring French were taken by the English and utilised as a main resource for the following seven years (and were copied) and constituted a majority of what – and how the English knew of the regions in Van Diemen’s Land.
    This may well indicate they were attempting to approach all interactions in a warlike manner with European crews taking an interest in the areas they were secretly quite keen to verify as theirs (and attempt to maintain it)…
    I think this is a dreadful indictment on the truth to the errors of nationalism in motivation for peoples actions, as it can take various personages to judgemental or cruelty extremes where numerous people think it is a norm… just as numerous English folk would attempt an any means necessary (throwing any aptitude – or affinity to morale or ethical approaches, and / or navigation out the window – or options) factor in approaching policy formulation… or said another way, various English would walk arounsd in New Holland and Van Diemen’s land and do first then think later – outcomes , resolutions and conscience be damned (many sociopaths attempt to associate an emotional outcome to anothers’ liberty and thus attempt not facing up to their own actions – or accepting responsibility for their actions)
    This is the true history of early Australia before Federation – and perhaps a reason for reconsidering with more signifiance a transition to a Republic

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