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Type: Journal article
Title: A cordial encounter? The meeting of Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin (8-9 April, 1802)
Author: Fornasiero, F.
West-Sooby, J.
Citation: French History and Civilization, 2005; 1:53-61
Publisher: George Rude Society
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 1832-9683
Statement of
Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby
Abstract: The 1802 encounter between Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders has now entered Australian folklore. Most commentators concur that the famous meeting was conducted in a spirit of scientific cooperation that transcended the national rivalries of the day. Yet certain discrepancies between the accounts of the two captains are difficult to explain. These have generally been attributed to communication difficulties between the French navigator and his English-speaking counterpart. This assumption, however, is far from self-evident. We have thus chosen to canvass the full range of possible explanations for the conflicting accounts of that meeting, including the hypothesis that Flinders, who is generally considered a reliable witness, may indeed have misrepresented his encounter with Baudin. What emerges from this analysis is a picture of a meeting that was far less altruistic than is commonly believed—a meeting characterized, contrary to the legend, by the persistent undercurrent of political and personal motives.
Description: Copyright © 2005 by the George Rudé Society
RMID: 0020051521
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Appears in Collections:French publications

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