Voyage Around the World by the King's Frigate La Boudeuse and the Ship L'Etoile in 1766, 1767, 1768, and 1769


Following France’s defeat in the Seven Years' War (1756-63), Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811), a soldier with a distinguished military record in Canada, received permission from King Louis XV to undertake France’s first major geographical exploration of the Pacific. In 1766-69 Bougainville became the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the globe. His voyage, meticulously recounted in this book, resulted in several significant scientific contributions, including establishing the precise location of a number of Pacific islands and determining the width of the Pacific Ocean. However, it was Bougainville’s observations of people and cultures, especially the people of Tahiti, that made his voyage and subsequent account famous. Coming at a time when most of Europe, and France in particular, was experiencing a "Pacific craze," Bougainville's idyllic and romantic account of his stay at Hitiaa, on the east coast of Tahiti, helped to make this work a major literary success. His portrayal of the people of Tahiti influenced philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau (who propounded the idea of the “noble savage”) and Denis Diderot.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saillant et Nyon, Paris


Title in Original Language

Voyage autour du monde, par le frégate du roi la Boudeuse, et la flûte l’Étoile; en 1766, 1767, 1768 & 1769

Type of Item

Physical Description

Illustrations, maps, plans. 20 centimeters


  • Second edition, revised.

Last updated: August 26, 2016