Conrad Malte-Brun (12 August 1775 – 14 December 1826), born
Malthe Conrad Bruun, and sometimes referred to simply as
Malte-Brun, was a Dano-French geographer and journalist. His second
son, Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun, was also a geographer. Today he is
perhaps best remembered for coining the name for the geographic region
Oceania (French Océanie) around 1812.
4 Further reading
5 External links
Thisted to an administrator of Danish crown lands, Malte-Brun
was originally destined for a career as a pastor, but chose instead to
attend classes at the University of Copenhagen, and became a supporter
French Revolution and an activist in favor of freedom of the
press. Following the harsh censorship laws instituted by the Danish
ruler crown prince Frederick in September 1799, he was indicted
because of his many pamphlets which contained outright criticism of
the government, which the new censorship laws forbade. A particular
cause for offence was a pamphlet he published in 1795 entitled
“Catechism of the Aristocrats.”
The case of Peter Andreas Heiberg, who for similar crimes had been
sentenced to exile at
Christmas of 1799, did not make Malte-Brun
optimistic about his prospects. He had already left the country prior
to the court sentence (which was first carried late 1800) and had
settled first in Sweden, later in the Free City of Hamburg.
At some point during his exile, he started using his Danish first
name, Malthe, as part of his surname, Bruun.
An 1837 edition of a Malte-Brun Map of China. This is one of the
earliest maps to use the term
Manchuria (Mandchourie), which Conrad
Malte-Brun and Mentelle promoted as early as 1804.
Malte-Brun arrived in
France in November 1799, and began work on a
geography treatise meant as a gift to his adoptive country. A poem on
the death of
Andreas Peter Bernstorff
Andreas Peter Bernstorff which he published during his
exile procured for him permission to return to Denmark. But another
pamphlet against the aristocracy subjected him to a new prosecution,
and he left his country, and finally took up his residence in Paris.
In December 1800, the Danish courts pronounced sentence of perpetual
banishment against him, which was rescinded about the time of his
death. Malte-Brun's geography treatise was written with the help of
Edme Mentelle, a professor at the École Normale; together, they
produced Géographie mathématique, physique et politique de toutes
les parties du monde (6 vols., published between 1803 and 1812).
He was a regular contributor to Journal des Débats. He at first
opposed the consular government, but subsequently became a zealous
imperialist, and after the fall of
Napoleon an equally zealous
monarchist, publishing in 1824 Traité de la légitimité considérée
comme base du droit public de l'Europe chrétienne.
Aside from his political writings, he devoted himself especially to
geographical studies. He was the founder of Les Annales des Voyages
(in 1807) and Les Annales des Voyages, de la Géographie et de
l'Histoire (in 1819), which encouraged observations and reports as a
basis for research. He became well known after contributing Tableau de
la Pologne, a treatise on the geography of
Poland (in 1807, as the
First Empire troops established French tutelage in the region). In
1822-1824, he served as the first general secretary of the newly
founded Société de Géographie. Malte-Brun was the first person to
suggest importing camels into Australia. See Australian feral
He died in
Paris in 1826, as he was drafting the final version of his
major work, the Précis de Géographie Universelle ou Description de
toutes les parties du monde. This appeared in eight volumes
(1810–29), the last two volumes being by Huot. Malte-Brun's name
was given to streets in both
Paris (20th arrondissement) and Thisted.
^ a b c d e f Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A., eds. (1879).
"Malte-Brun". The American Cyclopædia.
^ «Les provinces tributaires du nord ou la Mantchourie, la Mongolie,
la Kalmouquie, le Sifan, la Petit Bucharie, et autres pays
vulgairement compris sous la fausse dénomination de TARTARIE», in:
Mentelle, Edme; Brun, Malte (1804), Géographie mathématique,
physique & politique de toutes les parties du monde, 12, H.
Tardieu, p. 144
^ Conrad Malte-Brun, Universal Geography: Containing the description
of India and Oceanica, Volume III, Book LVI 'Oceanica', Part IV 'New
Holland and its dependancies', p.568. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and
Brown, London 1822.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Wood, James, ed. (1907). "Maltebrun, Conrad". The
Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
Conrad Malte-Brun (1827), Universal Geography, Edinburgh: Adam
Conrad Malte-Brun (1827), Universal Geography, Philadelphia: A.
Finley, OCLC 9262496
v.1; v.2; v.3; v.4; v.5
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Malte-Brun, Conrad". Encyclopædia
Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
"Malte-Brun, Konrad". New International Encyclopedia.
ISNI: 0000 0001 0886 4311
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