Title: French Connection: Australia’s quest to become a cosmopolitan nation
Author: BERGANTZ ALEXIS
Publication date: 01/07/2021
Imprint: NEW SOUTH WALES UNI PRESS
Publishing status: Active
The French have long been part of the Australian story. From talented gold fields photographer Antoine Fauchery and infighting in the upper echelons of Melbourne society as to who should run Alliance FranÃ§aise to the Playoust family whose Australian-born sons enlisted with the French army in the First World War.
French Connection paints an intricate portrait of the complex connections between the two nations. Alexis Bergantz provides a fascinating insight into how the idea of France influenced a new colony anxious to prove itself. Eager to demarcate themselves from Britain, many Australians saw France as a more cosmopolitan and decadent alternative to a stodgy Victorian world order. Ironically, many of the French in Australia were not exactly the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me and they too navigated a world of lofty dreams and ideas that were often a far cry from reality. But what exactly did Australian colonists see when they looked to France? How much did the French presence in the Pacific loom over such ideas? And what did the French in Australia themselves make of it all?
Contributes significantly to our understanding of the making of Australia and of Australian mythology and history. Iain McCalman
French Connections provides a lively and well-researched study of the French in late nineteenth-century Australia from escaped convicts to wealthy wool-buyers and assesses how France perceived France and its South Pacific territories. Professor Robert Aldrich, University of Sydney
'In French Connection, Alexis Bergantz transcends contribution or ethnic history in explaining how Frenchness in Australia was among the ingredients of an antipodean culture that has been more cosmopolitan for much longer than most imagine. This superb cultural history is as stylish as the images of France and Frenchness that it so brilliantly interrogates.' Frank Bongiorno AM, Professor of History, The Australian National University
Dimension: 234mm X 153mm