Australian Journal of French Studies

Gonneville's Terra Australis: Too Good to be True?

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (1), 75–86.

Abstract

This article examines the report of Gonneville's voyage in its apparent historical context of the sixteenth century. It examines maps, events and books associated with discoveries of the time. In all cases, no mention of Gonneville appears before Paulmier's work of the mid-seventeenth century. The absence of Gonneville's supposed discovery of Terra Australis from the maps of the Dieppe school is particularly salient. Gonneville's encounters in Brazil are also missing from contemporary events and books, despite widespread interest in discoveries. Furthermore, the Gonneville report shows marked differences in emphasis and style compared to explorers' accounts of the time. In all, this article finds many factors that challenge the authenticity of Gonneville's voyage.

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Author details

Jennings, William