• Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814) was a French naturalist and explorer who made several voyages to southeast Asia between 1769 and 1781. He published this two-volume account of his voyage of 1774-81 in 1782. Volume 1 deals exclusively with India, whose culture Sonnerat very much admired, and is especially noteworthy for its extended discussion of religion in India, Hinduism in particular. Volume 2 covers Sonnerat’s travels to China, Burma, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), Indonesia, and the Philippines. The book is illustrated with engravings based on Sonnerat’s drawings. Among the most interesting illustrations are Sonnerat’s pictures of various Hindu deities. Sonnerat was also a dedicated ornithologist and bird collector, and the book describes and depicts a number of species that he was the first to identify.


Date Created

Publication Information

  • P. Sonnerat, Paris


Title in Original Language

  • Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine, fait par ordre du roi, depuis 1774 jusqu'en 1781. Dans lequel on traite des mœurs de la religion, des sciences & des arts des Indiens, des Chinois, des Pégouins & des Madégasses


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Type of Item

Physical Description

  • 2 volumes : illustrations ; 27 centimeters