The Exotic Colony
By December 1765, Bernardin de St Pierre had returned to Paris, but the precise date of his arrival is not known. And the picture is confused by what Aime-Martin, in his Essai, says about the date of Bernardin's return and his desire to go back to Le Havre after learning of his father's death. A letter to Bernardin dated 19 January 1766, when he was still in Normandy, from a friend in Paris, Girault, gives him advice about how he might be freed from any obligation to return money to his father's estate. In the event Bernardin did feel obliged to settle what was perceived to be a debt, and he returned to Paris in June 1766. The most complete record of Bernardin's voyage, the conditions aboard ship, and the physical descriptions of the island and its flora and fauna are to be found in his Voyage a l'lle de France, published in 1773.