Two Voyages To The South Seas

Translated from the French and Retold By
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Two Voyages To The South Seas

Subjects

History

Published

1 October 1992

ISBN

9780522876864

Subjects

History

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Two Voyages To The South Seas

Translated from the French and Retold By
Dumont d'Urville's two epic voyages to the South Pacific and Antarctica, virtually unknown in English-speaking countries.
Rear-Admiral Dumont d'Urville, the French James Cook, was a brilliant sailor who made two great scientific and exploratory voyages to the Pacific and the Antarctic The first, 1826-29, solved the 40-year-old mystery of the disappearance of La Pérouse. The coup of the second voyage, 1837-40, was d'Urville's discovery, ahead of the American Wilkes and the British Ross expeditions, that Antarctica was a continent. He charted and conducted a risky landing on the coast he named Terre Adélie after his wife. He was twice in New Zealand. In 1840, to his chagrin, when he was in the South Island, Britain proclaimed sovereignty over both islands to thwart French plans to settle the Banks Peninsula. D'Urville possessed enormous vitality, curiosity, perseverance and scepticism. His own and his officers' shrewd observations on the many places visited present a sad and often angry commentary on the devastation being wreaked on the ancient but fragile…
Rear-Admiral Dumont d'Urville, the French James Cook, was a brilliant sailor who made two great scientific and exploratory voyages to the Pacific and the Antarctic. The first, 1826-29, solved the 40-year-old mystery of the disappearance of La Pérouse. The coup of the second voyage, 1837-40, was d'Urville's discovery, ahead of the American Wilkes and the British Ross expeditions, that Antarctica was a continent. He charted and conducted a risky landing on the coast he named Terre Adélie after his wife. He was twice in New Zealand. In 1840, to his chagrin, when he was in the South Island, Britain proclaimed sovereignty over both islands to thwart French plans to settle the Banks Peninsula. D'Urville possessed enormous vitality, curiosity, perseverance and scepticism. His own and his officers' shrewd observations on the many places visited present a sad and often angry commentary on the devastation being wreaked on the ancient but fragile cultures and environments of Oceania. They witnessed frequently unscrupulous and criminal representatives of predatory Europe forcing their commercial values, diseases and religions upon a hapless population.

Translated from the French and Retold By

Helen Rosenman lives in Sydney and taught French at Macquarie University from 1969 to 1980. She edited and translated from the French Dumont d'Urville's official accounts of the two expeditions he led.

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Paperback
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