Bruny d’ Entrecasteaux and his encounter with Tasmanian Aborigines; from Provence to Recherche Bay.
Born in the eighteenth-century Aix-en-Provence to French nobility, Bruny d’Entrecasteaux enjoyed a distinguished naval career as an intrepid navigator and diplomat before family tragedy struck. Dispatched by King Louis XVI in 1791, on a quest to find the missing explorer La Perouse and to conduct extensive scientific surveys, d’Entrecasteaux embarked on a mission which saw, the two small frigates, Recherche and Esperance eventually take shelter from a storm in south-eastern Tasmania in 1792. It was here in Recherche Bay in 1793 (on a return visit the following year) that the expeditioners had a remarkable encounter with Tasmanian Aborigines. Remarkable because of their mutual curiosity and goodwill and remarkable because it is so little known and understood in Australia, or indeed French history.
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