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Louis DE ROUGEMONT (1847-1921)

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"The Adventures of Louis De Rougemont"

Louis de Rougemont was the assumed name of Swiss-born Louis Grin. The Oxford Companion to English Literature describes him as "an adventurer who decided at the age of sixteen to see the world. He began as a footman to Fanny Kemble, touring through Europe and America, and eventually became butler to the governor of Australia. After spending many years there he contributed to "Wilde World Magazine" in 1898 sensational articles relating to his extraordinary, mostly bogus, voyages and adventures in search of pearls and gold, where he encountered an octopus with tentacles 75 feet long and rode turtles in the water."

It seems that, after great public excitement in the UK over the stories, he was eventually rumbled when, in a passage of poetic beauty, he described the wonderful "flight of the wombat."

This is a very entertaining book of shipwreck, isolation and adventures with the Australian aborigines, which this reviewer found quite unputdownable. As a colleague remarked, "You've got to admire someone like that"!