BAUDIN'S LAST BREATH
Author's Note:

I was  in Paris, having a drink
at the Australian Embassy,
when somebody mentioned
Nicolas Baudin.

I'd never heard of him - but it
was almost as though he
had
heard of
me.

From that moment on, this
long dead French sea captain
haunted me. Wherever I went,
his name would crop up. And
though I heard a lot about him
there were bits missing in his
history - intriguing bits.

Then I was taken ill and
rushed into the emergency
ward of the Hotel Dieu..."
Ordinary Seaman
Secret Societies
Nicolas Baudin was not only a daring sea
captain  on  a voyage of exploration  for
his Emperor
Napoleon,  he was
also deeply involved
with secret  societies
such as the Free
Masons and the
Society For The
Observation Of  Man.
Captain Nicolas Baudin
Slaves to Landlords
In his early career,
Baudin traded in
slaves across the
Atlantic. In
Australia, he told
his men to respect
the rights of the
Aborigines.
Reviews
It's a novel with three heroes - the
ancient mariner, the contemporary
deckhand, and the mighty and
unforgiving ocean.

A missing skull,a chest of secret
papers - and a swashbuckling French
sea captain. These are the ingredients
from which ex-seaman Victor Barker
constructs the story of Nicolas Baudin -
the man Napoleon Bonaparte
personally chose to explore the
unknown coasts of Australia. Seaports
and sailor's loves become inextricably
entwined as the author finds himself
face to face with the long dead French
captain and taking part in his
storm-tossed travels, joining a
re-creation of the Paris Opera in the
jungles of Timor, seeing the theft
from the Aborigines' sacred site in
Tasmania, and hearing Captain
Baudin's secret confessions.

Insight is at last given into the
events that took place in Mauritius
and changed this ex slave-runner
into a man of principle who forbade
the use of firearms against the
Aborigines and told the British to
respect the native owners' rights.
This is the French captain who had
a surprise encounter with England's
Captain Matthew Flinders, meeting
at sea and wining and dining whilst
their countries were making war.
This seagoing narrative starts and
finishes in the heart of Paris, taking
in South Africa, Mauritius, Timor
and Australia en route. Not to
mention a startling exchange between
poets Samuel Coleridge and William
Wordsworth.

It was as a very
ordinary seaman
that I followed
Baudin's route
halfway round the
world, serving on a
coal-burning Greek
tramp steamer, two
hundred years later
Baudin Links
Home
Email me
Readers are taken into a time-warp as contemporary seaman author follows
Napoleon's Captain Baudin through secret societies in Paris to aboriginal
camps in Tasmania. There are stolen skulls, missing treasure chests,
slave-trading and beautiful women in Mauritius.
READ FIRST
CHAPTER
Order Book