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.

Explorations – No 33 Dec 2002

(issued September 2003)


WALLACE KIRSOP, The State Library of Victoria and its French Collections
This text gives an account the history of the State Library of Victoria’s collections, with special reflection on the French and foreign language collections. It is the first in a series on the resources available here and details the evolution of the Library and its ethos, with its initial inspiration under Redmond Barry being found in the British Museum and European University Libraries.
Keywords: State Library of Victoria, French collection, Redmond Barry

WALLACE KIRSOP, Visiting Mayfield
An account of a tour of Mayfield, the rural property in Mordialloc belonging to Francis de Castelnau, one of the more eminent French consuls in nineteenth-century Victoria. It prefigures a more substantial piece on Castelnau.
Keywords: Francis de Castelnau, Mayfield Open Day, French consul, nineteenth century

WALLACE KIRSOP, Death of a Bookseller
A brief account of one of the slightly less obscure booksellers William Ellis Bird, and his death after falling in a tram safety zone on Collins Street, witnessed by a car carrying not one but three consuls.
Keywords: William Ellis Bird, Antonia Grossardi, René Turck, Arthur Garrels

Klaus Toft, The Navigators: Flinders v. Baudin. The Race between Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin to discover the fabled passage through the middle of Australia, reviewed by Elliott Forsyth
Paul Brunton (ed.), Matthew Flinders: Personal Letters from an Extraordinary Life, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Max Cramer, Treasures, Tragedies and Triumphs of the Batavia Coast: a True Story of Discovery and Adventure in the 20th Century, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Hendrik Kolenberg assisted by Patricia James, Lloyd Rees in Europe: Selected Drawings from his Sketchbooks in the Gallery’s Collection, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Georges Rigondet, Francois Piron, 1775-1810, et I’expédition du Commandant Nicolas Baudin: Les Fraçais à la découverte de l’Australie, reviewed by Edward Duyker
Amie Livingstone Stirling, Amie: Memories of an Australian Childhood, reviewed by Wallace Kirsop

Explorations – No 31 Dec 2001

(issued April 2002)


WALLACE KIRSOP, Colette Reddin 1920-2000. Obituary

MARGARET SANKEY, The Baudin Expedition in Port Jackson, 1902 Cultural Encounters and Enlightenment Politics

The article is adapted from a paper given at the 2001 conference at the University of Western Australia on the ‘Cultural Encounters in the Indian Pacific Region 1200-1800. The paper explores the cultural encounters and exchange that occurred when two French vessels, the Naturalist and the Géographe stopped in for five months at the English colony of Port Jackson in 1802.
Keywords: Baudin Expedition, Port Jackson, cultural encounters, Indian Pacific, Naturalist, Géographe

WALLACE KIRSOP, Paul Maistre’s First Farewell

A note on Paul Maistre’s personal file in the archives of the Ministère des Affaires Étrangères in Paris. Maurice Brodsky’s column text extends Colin Thornton-Smith’s account of Maistre and his failure to reform the Alliance Française.

Keywords: Paul Maistre, French Consul, Alliance Française, Maurice Brodsky


Anthony J. Brown, Ill-Starred Captains: Flinders and Baudin, reviewed by Elliott Forsyth

Brian Andrews, Australian Gothic: The Gothic Revival in Australian Architecture from the 1840s to the 1950s, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Henri Gilbert, Colin Dyer (ed. and trans.), A Frenchman’s Walk Across the Nullarbor: Henri Gilbert’s Diary, Perth to Brisbane, 1897-1899, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Helen Hewson, Australia: 300 Years of Botanical Illustration, reviewed by Edward Duyker