The French Australian Review – No 71 Australian Summer 2021-2022


PATRICIA CLARKE, Australian Connections with the Franco-Prussian War 1870 and the Commune of Paris 1871

In 1870 the Sydney Morning Herald published reports of the fast-moving Franco-Prussian war from its Paris correspondent Anna Blackwell culminating in her forced departure from the city as it was about to be besieged by Prussian forces. Her graphic eyewitness account of her escape by train to Boulogne was followed in 1871 by an equally graphic account of the operation of the short-lived Paris Commune by Irish-born London-based journalist, Frances Cashel Hoey. Hoey’s eyewitness account, first published in the English periodical the Spectator was widely republished in Australian capital city newspapers leading to her appointment in 1873 by the Victorian weekly the Australasian to write a regular women’s column ‘Society and Fashion’ from London. The Franco-Prussian War was the greatest overseas news story in the Australian press in 1870 and the revolutionary Paris Commune made the city the centre of world interest. Both Anna Blackwell and Frances Cashel Hoey were great reporters who saw immediately that they were witnessing events that would live in history.

Keywords: Franco-Prussian War 1870, Paris Commune 1871, Anna Blackwell, Frances Cashel Hoey, female foreign correspondents, Sydney Morning Herald, Australasian.

WILLIAM A. LAND, The Légion d’Honneur in Australia

The history of the Légion d’honneur in Australia dates back to the first award which was made to Sir William Macarthur in 1855. The Légion d’honneur is situated in the context of other French awards and its significance in terms of French-Australian relations. An appendix provides an overview of the history of the Société des Membres de la Légion d’honneur.

Keywords: Légion d’honneur, l’Ordre du mérite, military awards, Société des Membres de la Légion d’honneur (SMLH).

DEIRDRE GILFEDDER, Australian Film Festivals in France: Interviews with the Founders of Three Festivals of Australian and New Zealand Cinema

While Australian cinema occupies only a niche market in France it has found a place with French audiences and in French film culture. The role of three festivals of Australian cinema in making Australian films more widely available is highlighted with the three founding (and current) directors of these festivals.

Keywords: Festival du Film Australian, Le Bout du Monde (Pézenas), Festival du Cinéma Aborigène Australien à Paris, Festival des Antipodes Saint Tropez, Helen Buday, Greta Morgan Elangué, Bernard Boriès, Festival Rochefort Pacifique Cinéma et Littérature, La Rochelle.

ELAINE LEWIS, Australian Art in Paris: Gallery Arts d’Australie Stéphane Jacob

Stéphane Jacob established Arts d’Australie in Paris in 1996, after a visit to Australia when he first became acquainted with Aboriginal art. The interview that forms this article was based on an article in Le Figaro that appeared in March 2020. The interview covers Jacob’s passionate interest in and extensive knowledge of Aboriginal art and his promotion of this and other Australian art through his gallery in Paris and his links with other cultural institutions in France and Europe.

Keywords: Stéphane Jacob, Guy Cogeval, Isabelle de Beaumont, John Kelly, Musée des Confluences Lyon, Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Editions Arts d’Australie Stéphane Jacob.

MARIE-THÉRÈSE JENSEN, The Droulers Family in Australia

The links between France and Australia that arose in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the wool industry are many. This article tells the story of the author’s grandfather, Jean Drouler, who came to Australia in 1912 as a junior buyer for Masurel Fils. He and his wife settled in Australia after the First World War and became an integral part of the French community in Sydney. One hundred years later, their descendants now number over one hundred.

Keywords: Masurel Fils, Jean Droulers, French Chamber of Commerce (Sydney), Société de Bienfaisance (French Benevolent Society) (NSW), Jean Trémoulet, French Consul, Playoust family.

PETER MCPHEE, French Australian Encounters no 7: Finding Traces of the French Revolution in the Landscape

Physical traces of the French Revolution are few and far between in the built environment. Renowned historian of the French revolution recounts his voyages of discovery across France as he has located some of these vestiges.

Keywords: liberty tree Tamniès, Camps-sur-l’Agly, Saint-Julien du Sault, the church during the Revolution, Robespierre, autels de la patrie, ‘vandalism’.

EDWARD DUYKER, Revealing Père Receveur; A Portrait Beneath our Noses

Claude-François-Joseph Receveur, later known as Père Laurent, was a chaplain and naturalist on board the Astrolabe during Lapérouse’s fateful expedition. He died at Botany Bay, NSW in 1788 and was the first Catholic priest be buried in Australia.

Could he be the friar depicted in two images of the expedition? The author argues that the visual evidence would suggest yes.

Keywords: Lapérouse expedition (1785–1788), Macao, Brazil, Monterey, Gaspard Duché de Vancy.

The Annual Ivan Barko Prize

Awarded to Andrew Montana for his article in The French Australian Review, number 70., ‘Virtue and Sentiment: Madame Mouchette’s Art and Teaching in Melbourne 1881–1892’.

Key words: Andrew Montana, Berthe Mouchette.


GEMMA KING, Alexis Bergantz, French Connection: Australia’s Cosmopolitan Ambitions

The influence of cultural practices and motifs from France on nineteenth century Australian life.

Keywords: ‘Frenchness’, Alliance Française de Melbourne, New Caledonia, French convicts, World War 1.


ELAINE LEWIS, Paul Wenz, A Coral Eden (Le Jardin des coraux) translated by Maurice Blackman, Sydney, Exile Bay ETT Imprint

A new publication in the Sydney-Paris Link series from ETT Imprint, A Coral Eden was first published in French in 1929.

Keywords: Jean-Paul Delamotte, Paul Wenz, Maurice Blackman, Tom Thompson, Sydney-Paris Link series.

ELAINE LEWIS, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes

Including: a note on a collection of Australian children’s fiction translated into French that has been donated recently to the State Library of Victoria by Dr Helen Frank; and a note on new translations and readings/performances of Australian plays by the Maison Antoine Vitez, Paris, within the context of ‘Australia Now’, an Australian government promotional program in France.

The French Australian Review – No 70 Australian Winter 2021


ROBERT ALDRICH, Keynote Speech: ISFAR 2021 35th Anniversary Symposium, From the French East Indies Company to the French in the “Indo-Pacific”

Robert Aldrich gives a concise overview of four centuries of the French presence in the Indo-Pacific region. The political and commercial idea of an ‘Indo-Pacific’, it seems, came to attention with a statement by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007, then was taken up by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in 2010. In 2013, the idea appeared in the Australian Defence White Paper. In the words of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, at the virtual meeting of the Quadrilateral group of powers of the region—Australia, the United States, Japan and India, though not including France—held in March 2021: ‘It is the Indo-Pacific that will now shape the destiny of our world in the 21st Century.

Keywords: Indo-Pacific, French presence in Indo-Pacific, 21st Century, Australia and France in a Regional and Global Context

ANDREW MONTANA, ‘Virtue and Sentiment: Madame Mouchette’s Art and Teaching in Melbourne 1881–1892’

Australia in the early 1880s welcomed the professional artist and art teacher Berthe Mouchette from France, accompanied by her husband and her sister. Mouchette’s artistic and cultural influence was strong for well over a decade in Melbourne but she is absent from Australian art history, which has prioritised modernism and shunned flower painting, history painting and portraiture, subject genres in which Mouchette excelled.  This article provides a feminist perspective of Mouchette’s work and her contemporary impact. It reveals her French teaching methods and highlights her social networks to promote French culture and language. It shows how she fostered an appreciation of women’s art through her own example, and her student exhibitions, and how she expanded the public sphere in which women operated in an evolving society in Melbourne, prior to her departure for Adelaide due to the depression of the early 1890s.

Keywords: Berthe Mouchette, Australian art in the nineteenth century, Alliance Française de Melbourne

LYNN EVERETT AND RUSSELL CHEEK, ‘The Influence of the Lecoq School on Australian Theatre’

Lecoq School devotees in Australia have created popular and visually rich theatre that has widened the scope of audience appeal to include and embrace new spectators, taking theatre to people who would not ordinarily attend mainstream theatre performances. Through the acting, teaching, directing and devising work of its former students working in Australian theatre, the École Jacques Lecoq continues to influence theatre training and practice in this country.

Keywords : Lecoq School, L’École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq, influence of Lecoq school, Australian theatre

NATALIE EDWARDS AND CHRISTOPHER HOGARTH, ‘The Teaching Research Nexus: French-Australian Migrant Literature in the First-Year French Classroom’

 This article details the ways in which the authors bring their research into their pedagogical practise. Their research project is entitled ‘Transnational Selves: French Narratives of Migration to Australia’ and aims to discover, analyse and disseminate texts written by migrants in the French language from the nineteenth century to the present day. In this article, they discuss how they incorporate this important French-Australian cultural element into a beginner level language course, reminding students of the history and persistence of French-Australian cultural connections.

Keywords: Pedagogy, first-year language learning, literature in language teaching, migrant writing, travel writing, transnational literature


JANET LILLEY, French-Australian Encounters Number 6

The story of Janet Lilley’s meeting with Pâquerette (Totte) Feisselthe French translator of Mrs Jeannie Gunn’s classic book, The Little Black Princess.

DOCUMENT, Australian Theatre in France: 1994 and 2021

A brief account of two occasions when Australian playwrights were invited to France for readings and translations.

ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI AND ALEXIS BERGANTZ, The ISFAR Research Committee Report: ISFAR Research Committee Report on the ISFAR @ 35 Symposium, ‘Australia and France in a Regional and Global Context, Past Engagements and Future Research

ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI AND ALEXIS BERGANTZ, Travel Scholarship in Honour of Professor Colin Nettelbeck

KERRY MULLAN, Winner of the 2020 Ivan Barko Prize: Irene Rogers

LAUREN SADOW AND KERRY MULLAN, Obituary: A Tribute to Bert Peeters (1960–2021)

PHOEBE WESTON-EVANS, Book Review: Crossed Lines by Marie Darrieussecq, translated by Penny Hueston

KIRSTY CARPENTER, Book Review: New Zealand Journal of French Studies

NICOLE STARBUCK, Book Review: Dumont d’Urville : L’homme et la mer by Edward Duyker

ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI, Book Review: Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson

BOOK NOTES, Paris Savages, Cast Among Strangers, a Paris auction and L’Exposition coloniale de 1931, Paris

ELAINE LEWIS, French-Australian Bibliographical Notes


From June 5 to November 7, 2021, the City of Le Havre celebrates Australian life and culture with the event ‘Le Havre, Australian stopover’

Explorations – No 20 Jul 1996

(issued December 1999)


DIANNE REILLY, Comte Lionel de Chabrillan (1818-1858) First Consul for France at Melbourne (1852-1858)

Gabriel-Paul-Josselin-Lionel de Guigues de Moreton de Chabrillan began his diplomatic career in Copenhagen in 1838, lost his fortune gambling, spent some time in Australia as a miner and was then appointed ‘Honorary Consul, Second Class’ at Melbourne. Although Melbourne society ostracised his wife and former mistress, Céleste Vénard (the notorious Parisienne “La Mogador”), it is clear that he himself earned their respect. His grave in Melbourne General Cemetery was restored by ISFAR members in 1994.

Keywords: Comte Lionel de Chabrillan, consul, Céleste Vénard, “La Mogador”

JOHN DRURY, Nicolas Émile Mouchette, 1838-1884, Acting Consul de France

The story of Nicolas Emile Mouchette, Chancelier and Acting Consul at the French Consulate in Melbourne. He arrived in Australia in 1881 and died there in 1884. His wife Berthe later founded the Alliance Française de Melbourne.

Keywords: Nicolas Emile Mouchette, Chancelier, Acting Consul, Berthe Mouchette, Alliance Française de Melbourne

WALLACE KIRSOP, Edmond About in Australia

French novelist Edmond About was once familiar to many Australians. A member of the Académie française, his novel, Roi des montagnes, was studied by French students in Australia during the late nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries.

Keywords: Wallace Kirsop, Edward About, Roi des montagnes, Academie française, Leaving Certificate

WALLACE KIRSOP, R.S. Ross on French Literature

Robert Samuel Ross, ‘a socialist with strong literary leanings’ produced a Catalogue of Books for Radicals (c 1919) which included book notes. Wallace Kirsop sees similarities between this catalogue and Andrade’s Catalog of Books for Radicals issued by William Charles Andrade of 201 Bourke Street, Melbourne (‘anarchists and booksellers’). R. S. Ross considers that a good novel can be read as a ‘living picture’ of an event or movement and reviews a number of novels by French authors such as Flaubert, Erckmann-Chatrian, Alexandra Dumas, Anatole France, Victor Hugo and Eugène Sue.

Keywords: R. S. Ross, William Charles Andrade, Andrade’s Bookshop, anarchist bookseller, French authors, Melbourne’s Radical Bookshops


Marcel Chicoteau, Bibliographia et obiter dicta (1939-1989), reviewed by Wallace Kirsop

Explorations – No 15 Dec 1993


ROGER LONDON, French Australia Relations in the Cold War

The author was French Consul in Melbourne These are reminiscences of his experiences in Melbourne during the French nuclear tests in the Pacific in the early nineteen-seventies, framed by references to the exploration of the Australian continent by Saint-Allouarn, Marion Dufresne, Lapérouse, d’Entrecasteaux, Baudin and Dumont d’Urville, and his own years of service at Washington DC.

Keywords: French nuclear tests in the Pacific, bans, French-Australian diplomatic relations, Ambassador Gabriel Van Laethem

COLETTE REDDIN, An Historic Comment on the House in Robe Street

The author, a long-time supporter and office bearer of the Alliance Française de Victoria and initiator of the ‘Maison de France Appeal’ which collected funds for the purchase of permanent accommodation for the Alliance, recalls French memories of the house at 17 Robe Street in St Kilda, a house that was to become the main seat of the Melbourne Alliance Française. Calling on her personal recollections, she evokes her acquaintance with this same house which was used by the French Naval Attaché, Commandant André Kervella, as his residence and office in 1944 and 1945 (until the end of war in the Pacific).

Keywords: War in the Pacific, French Military Mission in Australia, Alliance Française de Melbourne, French Legation in Canberra, André Kervella

IVAN BARKO, Thirty-Four Years in French Studies — Reminiscences and Reflections

After briefly describing his background, the author recalls his arrival in Australia and the beginnings of his academic career. He recounts the origin of his vocation and his first contacts with Australians and with French scholars in Australian universities.

Keywords: Léon Tauman, Monash University, University of Sydney, Ron Jackson, Roger Laufer, changes to syllabi in French, French nuclear tests in the Pacific

STEPHEN ALOMES, Beyond a Cloistered Europe: Universities and the French rediscovery of Australia

This article deals with the growing interest of French universities in Australian studies. The author analyses the emergence of courses in Australian studies in some French universities. Although these ‘few pockets of Australian studies’ are, in Professor Xavier Pons’ words, ‘islands in the ocean’, and although they are dependent on the personal involvement of individual scholars, they are not unrelated to a broader interest by the French in Australian culture and society.

Keywords: Commonwealth literature, ‘Australia and Continental Europe’ Conference (Paris 1982), Xavier Pons, multiculturalism, post-colonialism, Jean-Paul Delamotte, Australia France Foundation, French-Australian Research Centre at the University of NSW, Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations (ISFAR)

MICHAEL TAPER, The Snows of Yesteryear Fell in Adelaide

In these personal reminiscences the author recalls his friendship at school in Newcastle with Tony Wilson, a future French scholar and diplomat, and Tony Tripp, a future theatrical designer. Shortly after Tony Wilson’s premature death, the author (having completed a university French course himself), meets one of Wilson’s French friends, Jean-Marie Laxenaire, with whom he develops a close association. The second part of the article, written shortly before its publication, describes the author’s fortuitous encounter at Adelaide Airport with Colin and Carol Nettelbeck, who had been his friends in the early nineteen-sixties in Paris. The two stories come together a few weeks later in Melbourne where the Nettelbecks, the Tapers and the Tripps reside.

Keywords: Tony Wilson, Tony Tripp, Jean-Marie Laxenaire, Colin Nettelbeck, Paris in the early 1960s, the Sorbonne.


Marc Serge Riviere & Thuy Huynh Einam, editors and translators, Any Port in a Storm: From Provence to Australia: Rolland’s Journal of the Voyage of La Coquille (1822-1825), reviewed by Edward Duyker

Margaret de Mestre, in collaboration with Neville de Mestre, Prosper de Mestre in Australia, reviewed by Wallace Kirsop