|Pacific Paradises: The Discovery of Tahiti & Hawaii
By Trevor Lummis
The Discovery of Tahiti & Hawaii
Pacific Paradises is a rich and stirring story of cultures in collision. The reality of the colonisation of Tahiti and Hawaii by western powers is a shameful catalogue of misunderstanding and betrayal. In a final irony, western society now embraces many of the qualities held by the 'noble savages'.
Captain Wallis discovered Tahiti in 1767 when plans were being made in London to send a scientific expedition to the Pacific. His reports of the island were so favourable that Tahiti soon became a favoured place for artists and scientists, as well as a source for provisions and recreation for European ships.
While sailors enjoyed the leisurely, sexually-permissive life, European civilisation as a whole was shocked by this and by the Tahitian's paganism.
The London Missionary Society was founded t o convert them and the contest between British Protestant and French Catholic missionaries led to the eventual expulsion of the British, war between the Tahitians and the French and the final colonisation of the island by France. In Hawaii, a similar story unfolded. Discovered by Captain Cook in 1776, it was a larger centre of trade and commerce than Tahiti and its ultimate fate was a matter of greater international importance, involving Britain, America, France and Russia.
Trevor Lummis is the author of a
number of books on maritime and social history, most notably Life and
Death in Eden: Pitcairn Island and the Bounty Mutineers. He lives in
the south of France.
Buy Now for $29.95 (plus $2.00 for packaging and postage) for delivery within Australia.
ISBN 1 86403 297 9
Release February 2006
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