Explorations – No 17 Dec 1994

(issued October 1997)


C.B. THORNTON-SMITH, Paul Maistre, Vice-Consul and later Consul for France in Victoria, 1886-1898, 1901-1908

This article is a detailed account of Paul Maistre’s struggle to reform the Melbourne Alliance Française at the beginning of the twentieth century. Maistre, like Georges Biard d’Aunet, the Sydney-based Consul General for Australia was committed to the Alliance Française as an educational institution. The struggle for reform continued for a number of years until a conflict exploded between Maistre, supported by many key constituents and the socialite Committee. A reformist Committee was established under Paul Maistre. This was however a pyrrhic victory as the Melbourne socialites used their influence with the British Embassy in Paris to lodge a complaint against Maistre resulting in him being recalled in 1909,

Keywords: Alliance Française of Melbourne, French consuls and consul-generals in Sydney and Melbourne, Melbourne establishment, the Crivellis, Maurice-Carton, Paul Maistre, Biard d’Aunet

An editors’ note about the publication of the first in a series of publications to be known as Kelveriana, consisting of works written by Kelver Hartley or relevant to his interests