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What have the French ever done for us? French exploration of Australia

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The University of Adelaide (Napier Lecture Theatre 102)

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5005

Australia

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“Tall Tales and True from the History of French Exploration in Australia”

The many French names dotted along parts of the Australian coastline testify to the contribution made by French explorers to geographic and scientific knowledge of our island-continent. Voyages of discovery in the Age of Sail were often fraught with danger, and many lost their lives in the pursuit of their objectives. These voyages also had their share of more whimsical moments, however. In this talk, Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby will highlight this lighter side of the business of maritime discovery, focusing on the French voyagers who travelled to Australia during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Jean Fornasiero is Professor Emerita of French Studies at the University of Adelaide. John West-Sooby is Professor of French Studies, also at the University of Adelaide. They have worked extensively on French maritime exploration in the Indo-Pacific, notably the expedition to Australia led by Nicolas Baudin in 1800-1804. They are the authors, with Peter Monteath, of Encountering Terra Australis: the Australian Voyages of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders (Wakefield Press). In 2014, they published an edition of zoologist François Péron's "spy report" on Sydney: French Designs on Colonial New South Wales (Friends of the State Library of SA). With Lindl Lawton, they edited The Art of Science: Nicolas Baudin's Voyagers (Wakefield Press) - published to coincide with the touring exhibition of the same name.

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The University of Adelaide (Napier Lecture Theatre 102)

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5005

Australia

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