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Jean-Christophe Rufin

The novel is inspired by the life and the memoirs of the traveler Móric Beňovský (1746-1786), who is considered a national hero in Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

Benyovszky was born and raised in Verbó, Kingdom of Hungary. In 1769, while fighting for the Polish armies under the Bar Confederation, he was captured by the Russians and exiled to Kamchatka. He subsequently escaped and returned to Europe via Macau and Mauritius, arriving in France. In 1773, Benyovszky reached agreement with the French government to establish a trading post on Madagascar.

Rufin’s novel finds the hero on a visit to Benjamin Franklin, depicting his life and asking for help to create an enlighted state on the island and support the islanders in their fight against the French colonists…

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