"THE FRENCH EXPLORERS AND SYDNEY" by Colin Dyer
Australia: It's not all Captain Cook
COLONIAL SYDNEY AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.
Historian, Colin Dyer, offers a fresh and facinating perspective of Sydney and early colonial life in his latest book, "THE FRENCH EXPLORERS AND SYDNEY".
Containing previously unpublished translations of European experiences in the early colonial period, THE FRENCH EXPLORERS AND SYDNEY is full of captivating insights into a period of Australia's history - an era that the author recreates in an accessible and entertaining way.
The early years of Sydney were witnessed by seven expeditions of French exploration between 1788 and 1831. One of the better know expeditions was that of French Captain Lapérouse who arrived in Botany Bay two days before Governor Philip claimed that territory for Britain.
The French Explorers, includinc Lapérouse, Bougainville and Freycinet (and his stowaway wife), were received and entertained by Sydney's dignitaries, including Governors King, Macquarie, Brisbane and Darling and the high-profile Macarthur family. Their revealing accounts present intimate details of the everyday lives at all levels of society, from the governors'parties to 'the sickening spectacle' (as Bougainville saw it) of convicts on the treadmills in Sydney's penitentiary.
These rationalist, enlightened French Explorers and Scientists sought not to conquer but to further their knowledge. Their journals and records (includinc that of Rose de Freycinet) offer surprising cultural insights and engaging outsiders'perspectives on the new colony and its residents.
THE FRENCH EXPLORERS AND SYDNEY turns back the clock and transports the reader to an intriguing time, in wich discovery, culture shocks, mutual curiosity and humour were the order of the day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Colin Dyer has a doctorate in history from the University of Caen in France, and is a research adviser in the School of Language and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland. He has written several books in French, including "La France revisitée" (1989), as well as a number of works in English - most recently "The French Explorers and the Aboriginal Australians" 1772-1839 (UQP. 2005)
University of Queensland Press