Introduction. Royal Instructions for Scientific Exploration. The French Gardener Overseas. The Voyage of La Pérouse: Part 1: From Brest to Monterey Bay. Part 2: From Monterey to Botany Bay. Adventures and Misadventures: The Bizarre Story of the Dupetit Thouars Brothers. The Voyage of Entrecasteaux: Part 1: Genesis and Preparation. Part 2: From Brest to Tasmania. Part 3: New Calidonia to Ambon. Part 4: Esperance Bay. Part 5: Tasmania Revisited. Part 6: On to New Calidonia. Part 7: Its Woeful End. Internment. From Explorer to Closet Botanist. Epilogue. Bibliography. General Index. Plant Index.
This volume completes a trilogy meant to be a commentary on the botanophilia that captured the literate public in 18th-century France. Enthusiastic public support for any governmental initiative likely to expand botanical knowledge was an expression of immense curiosity about the natural world beyond Europe. It amounted to a quest for universal knowledge that could benefit all mankind: useful knowledge that could improve the human condition in this life.