'Questions of identity, whether national or cultural, are of vital importance to the cultural historian. The construction, definition and representation of identities can undoubtedly be studied most profitably in travel writing, since one can observe the extent to which one culture is either reinforced or altered, when confronted with, and challenged by, a distant and alien culture, such as indigenous cultures of the Pacific rim countries. Thus, much insight can be gained into the processes and techniques of negotiating cultural, political and social borders by studying closely the accounts of French visitors to British colonies in the Antipodes from 1800 to 1830, a time when French expeditions had a secret military brief, in addition to their avowed scientific and cultural goals.'
'A study of French travelers' interactions with the British authorities, deported Irish political rebels and the indigenous people of New South Wales, enables the researcher, through an analysis of their writings, both manuscript and published, to measure the impact of liberal ideas, largely inherited from the European Enlightenment, on the cultural, political and legal traditions of largely suspicious British and indigenous communities.' (p. 171).