Where Fate Beckons

The Life of Jean-François de la Pérouse

French explorer and naval officer Jean-François de la Pérouse (1741–88) was, after James Cook, the greatest explorer of the Pacific in the eighteenth century. In 1785, La Pérouse was commissioned by Louis XVI to head an expedition into the uncharted regions of the Pacific Ocean. Setting out from France, the expedition over the next three years was the first to map the coasts of California, Alaska, and Siberia. From there, La Pérouse continued to Easter Island and Hawaii, where La Pérouse Bay bears his name. After a stop in Botany Bay, Australia, La Pérouse’s two ships set out for the Solomon Islands. En route, they encountered a storm and were sunk; despite search efforts over the centuries, no trace of the wreckage of La Pérouse’s ships has been found.

Where Fate Beckons tells the story of La Pérouse’s life and adventures, along the way providing a lively introduction to the world of French colonialism, the end of the Age of Exploration, and French society in the years leading to the French Revolution.

SPECIFICATIONS: Cased with Jacket | 234 x 153mm | Maps & Illustrations | 292 Pages |

SKU: 9780908988532 Categories: , , Tags: , , , ,

John Dunmore is Professor Emeritus of French at Massey University, New Zealand. In a long and distinguished academic career, he has written more than 20 books on French navigation in the Pacific, a subject on which he is an acknowledged authority. Professor Dunmore was made a knight of the Legion of Honour by the French Government in 1976, and an officer of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques in 1986. He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001.


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