Foigny's La Terre Australe Connue, published in 1676, is a fantastically engaging and playful example of the 'imaginary voyage' genre. It is also a seventeenth-century work with some curiously modern resonances. Written in the tradition of More's Utopia, and serving itself as a forerunner to Swift's Gulliver's Travels, The Southern Land, Known offered its readers a radical criticism of then prevailing ideologies in the guise of a lively and provocative novel. Knowledge of the vast continent of Australia was, in Foigny's day, still mingled with legends, hearsay, and travelers' tales. It is in this context that the 'unknown Southern Land' becomes known to the hero of this short, action-packed, and highly structured story. The narrator braves a long sea journey, raging storms, shipwrecks, giant whales, and high-flying creatures that try to eat him - all to reach the mysterious Austral utopia. Peopled by hermaphrodites, Foigny's Australia is a society in which distinctions of both class and gender have been abolished. It includes, among other things, an indictment of 'the great empire that the male usurped over the female' as 'rather a form of tyranny than a just cause' (Libraries Australia).