BY ERNEST SCOTT.
METHUEN & CO., LTD.
36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
FIRST PUBLISHED JULY 7TH, 1910.
SECOND EDITION 1911.
The main object of this book is to exhibit the facts relative to the
expedition despatched to Australia by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800 to 1804,
and to consider certain opinions which have been for many years current
regarding its purpose.
Until about five years ago the writer accepted without doubt the
conclusions presented by leading authorities. One has to do that in
regard to the vast mass of historical material, because, obviously,
however much disposed one may be to form one's opinions on tested facts
apart from the writings of historians, several lifetimes would not be
sufficient for a man to inquire for himself as to the truth of a bare
fraction of the conclusions with which research is concerned.
But it so happened that the writer was interested, for other reasons than
those disclosed in the following pages, in ascertaining exactly what was
done by the expedition commanded by Captain Nicolas Baudin on the coasts
which were labelled Terre Napoleon. On scrutinising the facts somewhat
narrowly, he was surprised to find that opinions accepted with
unquestioning faith began to crumble away for lack of evidence to support
So much is stated by way of showing that the book has not been written to
prove a conclusion formulated a priori, but with a sincere desire that
the truth about the matter should be known.