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Chance encounter – French influence in South Australia

Chance encounter – French influence in South Australia | From the collections of the State Library of South Australia
8 June – 14 August 2016
Treasures Wall, State Library of South Australia

Free entry

Exhibition open:
Mon-Wed 10am – 8pm, Thu-Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 5pm. Closed public holidays.

Image: Péron, François, Voyage de découvertes aux terres australes, Paris : De L'Imprimerie Impériale, 1807-1816, State Library of South Australia Rare Books Collection

Discover how the chance encounter of English and French explorers at the place they aptly named Encounter Bay in 1802 influenced South Australia’s culture.

The French party, under Capitaine Nicolas Baudin, had already charted much of the Australian coastline, marking their charts with French names. While only a few of the names remain, the influence of the French on the culture of South Australia is significant – seen in fashion, winemaking, cookery and sport.

This exhibition is an opportunity to see items from the State Library collections that are rarely on display. Highlights include an exquisite 16th century French Book of Hours, the memoir of an English cabin boy who as a prisoner of war met Napoleon, beautiful modern versions of the 17th century French fairy tales of Perrault, a French children’s game with a leaping tin kangaroo and the recently acquired photograph album and French souvenirs of an Adelaide man stationed in France during the First World War.

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