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‘The Lies of a Distant Traveller’? The Travel Writing of Louis de Hennepin

‘The Lies of a Distant Traveller’? The Travel Writing of Louis de Hennepin

Chapter:
(p.41) ‘The Lies of a Distant Traveller’? The Travel Writing of Louis de Hennepin
Source:
American Travel and Empire
Author(s):
Susan Castillo
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846311802.003.0003

This chapter examines the Description of Louisiana by the Recollet priest Louis de Hennepin, in order to analyse the ways in which authority and truth-claims coincide and collide in this text. Although Hennepin has been excoriated as a ‘travel liar’ and opportunist, his texts reveal not only a wealth of accurate descriptive detail about the indigenous cultures he encountered but also a real awareness of cultural difference.

Keywords:   Description of Louisiana, travel writing, authority, truth, indigenous culture, cultural difference

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