Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Sea Has No End: The Life of Louis Antoine De Bougainville

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Sea Has No End: The Life of Louis Antoine De Bougainville

Article excerpt

Victor Suthren, The Sea has no End: The Life of Louis Antoine de Bougainville (Toronto: Dundurn, 2004), 216pp. Cloth. C$35. US$27. ISBN 1-5500-2519-8.

Here is a new and workmanlike (or perhaps I should say seaman-like), relatively short biography of the eighteenth-century French navigator and soldier, who is probably best known for three things: his part as aide to Montcalm in the Seven Years War during the British assault on Quebec, his account of that so-called earthly paradise - Tahiti and the beautiful semi-tropical climbing plant, Bougainvillea, named after him. Victor Suthren, the author, was formerly Director of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, with a great and active interest in colonial exploration and seafaring, pursued in traditional ships and small boats. The Dundurn Press published his earlier book, To Go Upon Discovery: James Cook and Canada in 2000, so that he is largely familiar with the North American and Pacific background to Bougainville's life, but presumably not with court intrigues during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI of France and with the French Revolution and Napoleon. It seems that Bougainville's career as a naval officer was hampered by the jealousies of the aristocratic 'rouges' for a middle class intruder or 'bleu'. …

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