Explorations – No 27 Dec 1999


EDWARD DUYKER, A Distant Thunder: Napoleon, Australia and the National Library

Edward Duyker relates the rise of Napoleon and its effects upon Australia; for example, the Peace of Amiens meant the French in Mauritius were given permission to explore trade with Australia and Nicolas Baudin was able to visit Port Jackson in safety. French attention to the region precipitated the British settlement of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). The life and death of Napoleon are well represented in the National Library of Australia—the author lists some of the most important items.

Keywords: Peace of Amiens, Port Jackson, Nicolas Baudin, Van Diemen’s land, National Library of Australia.

DANIEL DULDIG, The Australian Napoleonic Society

The text of Daniel Duldig’s talk given to the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Napoleonic Society, 15 November 1999.

Keywords: Daniel Duldig, Australian Napoleonic Society.

COLIN THORNTON-SMITH, Two Napoleonic Collections: 11-16

Colin Thornton-Smith reviews the exhibition of the Pierre-Jean Chalençon Collection (Treasures of the Emperor and Imperial France) and the Mabel Brookes Napoleonic Collection. He finds the Chalençon exhibition notable for its presentation of both the Imperial Napoleon and Napoleon the man, from birth to death. The Mabel Brookes Collection focuses more upon the St Helena years and began at St Helena where William Balcombe, the great-grandfather of Dame Mabel Brookes, was the Naval Agent for the British Fleet and Purveyor for the East India Company. This collection and the 1840’s homestead of the Balcombe family (The Briars) continue to be open to the public. (http://www.napoleonguide.com/briars.htm).

Keywords: Pierre-Jean Chalençon Collection, Mabel Brookes Napoleonic Collection, William Balcombe, The Briars

COLIN THORNTON-SMITH, Napoleonic Toponymy in Australia 17-19

Colin Thornton-Smith describes Napoleonic place names attributed by Baudin, Peron or Louis de Freycinet to various geographical features in Australia. His source is Frank Horner’s The French Reconnaissance: Baudin in Australia 1801-1803, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1987 (reviewed by Dr Edward Duyker in Explorations No. 6, September 1998).

Keywords: Colin Thornton-Smith, Napoleonic toponymy in Australia, Baudin, Peron, Louis de Freycinet, Frank Horner, The French Reconnaissance: Baudin in Australia 1801-1803


Susan Hunt and Paul Carter, Terre Napoléon: Australia Through French Eyes 1800-1804, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Jill Duchess of Hamilton Napoleon, the Empress & the Artist: The Story of Napoleon, Josephine’s Garden at Malmaison, Redouté & the Australian Plants, reviewed by Edward Duyker


Short article on Literary Prizes won by Pierre Ryckmans and Patricia Clancy for the translation of Ryckman’s novel The Death of Napoleon (London: Quartet books; published in Australia by Allen & Unwin) and for Patricia Clancy’s translation of Jean-Paul Kauffmann’s La chambre noire de Longwood (Paris: La Table Ronde, 1997) as The Dark Room at Longwood: Napoleon’s Exile on Saint Helena (London: Harvill Press, 1999).

Keywords: Pierre Ryckmans, Patricia Clancy, The Death of Napoleon, La chambre noire de Longwood, translation awards

APPENDIXHoldings in Napoleoniana at the State Library of Victoria p 31-48

A list of books and microfilms to do with the life and times of Napoleon I and his immediate family This list does not include imaginative works of which he is the subject. (Follows the order of the Dewey Decimal Classification.)

Explorations – No 16 Jun 1994

(issued September 1997)


WALLACE KIRSOP, Dennis Davison

A reflection on the contribution of Dennis Davison to Australian cultural life, as a writer, an academic, mentor and participant. He was an Associate Editor of Explorations.

EDWARD DUYKER, With a French Accent in the National Library

An introduction to the holdings of French material in the National Library, inspired by the author’s search for material relating to the French officer Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne. The article provides details of Dufresne’s maritime exploits, together with those of later French explorers, referring to relevant documents held in the Library.

Keywords: Marion Dufresne, French exploration of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, National Library of Australia.

WALLACE KIRSOP, Sir William à Beckett in France

William à Beckett was Victoria’s first Chief Justice. This article discusses his account of his 1853-54 grand tour of Europe in Out of Harness, published in 1854 by J.J. Guillaume in London. The article contains a long excerpt (pp. 92-96 of the book) narrating the French leg of his journey.

Keywords: travel in France in the 1850s, Paris, shops and boulevards.

EDWARD DUYKER, Mauritius and Family History at the National Library

Another overview of the collections in the National Library, this time relating to Mauritius, including genealogical and family history sources as well as other material of a more general interest.

Keywords: Mauritius, National Library of Australia, colonial history of the Indian Ocean.

The House in Robe Street: Addenda

Brief addenda to the article that appeared in Issue No 15


Alexander Massov and Lena Govor, Rossiiskie moryaki i puteshestvenniki v Avstralii [Russian Sailors and Travellers in Australia], reviewed by Edward Duyker

R. E. R. Banks, B. Elliott, J. G. Hawkes, et al., Sir Joseph Banks: A Global Perspective, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Muséum d’histoire naturelle du Havre, Les Velins de Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, Exposition du 4 mai au 2 juin 1996 a l’Espace Claude Monet, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Colin Forster, France and Botany Bay: The Lure of a Penal Colony, reviewed by Edward Duyker