Duyker, Edward. AN OFFICER OF THE BLUE. Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne, South Sea Explorer, 1724-1772. Med. 8vo, First Edition; pp. xviii, 230(last blank); 13 maps, 28 plates (11 coloured), glossary, 4 appendices, extensive notes, bibliography, index; original papered boards; a fine copy in dustwrapper; scarce. Melbourne; Melbourne University Press; 1994.
***Number 16 in the fine series of books published under the Miegunyah Press imprint and a superb and interesting production. This copy inscribed and signed on title-page by the Author. The French explorer, Marion Dufresne has been largely neglected by French, English and Australian writers alike, but he reached Tasmania before the English and his expedition was the first to encounter the Tasmanian Aborigines and amongst the earliest of the European visitors to New Zealand. His life is remarkable for its high adventure and the parallels with the life of the great English navigator, James Cook. He played a part in the rescue from Scotland of Bonnie Prince Charlie, made numerous voyages to the East, including amongst his discoveries the most westerly islands of the Indian Ocean. Like Cook, he was a brilliant mariner who learned his craft in merchant shipping before joining the French Royal Navy, was involved in scientific efforts to observe the transit of Venus, and perished (in New Zealand) at the hands of Polynesian natives. This excellent and well-produced biography fills a glaring gap in the exploration literature and we recommend it highly. Only 1000 copies were printed and it was soon out-of-print. #67627
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