Item #5000509 Histoire des colonies penales de l'Angleterre dans l'Australie. Ernest BLOSSEVILLE.

Histoire des colonies penales de l'Angleterre dans l'Australie.

Paris: Adrien Le Clere et Cie, 1831.

Octavo, with half-title; contemporary quarter black morocco.

'Australia's first historian': the first scholarly history

First edition. Professor Colin Forster has commented that while Blosseville's book is regarded as the first scholarly history of Australia ever written, it has never received the recognition it deserves in the Anglosphere. In France, however, it was awarded the 1832 Montyon prize by the Académie française. Forster attributes its neglect in the English-speaking world to language problems and the lack of a translation ( France and Botany Bay, Melbourne, 1992).

First edition. Professor Colin Forster has commented that while Blosseville's book is regarded as the first scholarly history of Australia ever written, it has never received the recognition it deserves in the Anglosphere. In France, however, it was awarded the 1832 Montyon prize by the Académie française. Forster attributes its neglect in the English-speaking world to language problems and the lack of a translation ( France and Botany Bay, Melbourne, 1992).

The book is based to a large extent on the researches and first hand observations of the author's brother, the geographer and explorer Jules Poret de Blosseville. He had accompanied Duperrey's 1822 South Seas expedition, one of whose tasks was to report on western New Holland as a site for a possible French settlement. Duperrey failed to carry out the directive, but de Blosseville spent some time in NSW with Governor Brisbane and drew up his own reports on Britain's successful colonisation. In 1826 he was appointed by the French government to report on the suitability of western New Holland as a French penal colony. As a result of two reports which he made to the Minister of the Interior, Dumont d'Urville was sent to make further investigations, but France's prospects in the region were closed when a settlement was founded by Major Lockyer at King George Sound in December.

A fascinating and extensive, discursive bibliography of books on Australia, including imaginary voyages, appears on the final seventy pages.

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"The work of Viscount (later Marquis) Bénigne-Ernest Poret de Blosseville (1799–1886), author, scholar and member of parliament, this book was first published in Paris in 1831. It opens with a description of the factors leading to the search for a new location for a penal settlement, following the loss of the American colonies. The author points out that Britain's continued sending of convicted felons to America was a factor in generating the pressures leading to the American Revolution, as illustrated by Benjamin Franklin's famous barb, 'Would you like us to send you back some rattlesnakes?'.

"Blosseville then sets out a comprehensive political, economic and social account of the development of New South Wales and Tasmania up to 1830. The treatise criticises some aspects of the colony's record, including the heavy reliance on capital punishment, the convicts' sometimes violent treatment of the aboriginal population and the United Kingdom government's neglect of the nascent settlement, which led to near disaster by starvation on three occasions. In general, however, he saw the enterprise as a success, both from the viewpoint of criminal reform, reduction of serious crime and efficient colonisation.

"While a comprehensive general history, the work also contributed to a long-running penological debate about transportation, as against the penitentiary system, that developed during the 19th century in France, the United Kingdom and the United States." (Geoffrey de Q. Walker).

Ferguson, 1424.

Condition Report: A few lights spots but in very good condition.

Price (AUD): $985.00

US$647.94   Other currencies

Ref: #5000509

Condition Report