French explorer and naval officer Jean-François de la Pérouse (1741–88) was one of the greatest explorers of the Pacific in the eighteenth century. In 1785, La Pérouse was commissioned by Louis XVI to head an expedition into the uncharted regions of the Pacific Ocean. Setting out from France, the expedition was the first to map the coasts of California, Alaska, and Siberia. From there, La Pérouse continued to Easter Island and Hawaii, where La Pérouse Bay bears his name. After a stop in Botany Bay, Australia, La Pérouse's two ships set out for the Solomon Islands. En route, they encountered a storm and were sunk; despite search efforts over the centuries, no trace of the wreckage of La Pérouse's ships has been found.Where Fate Beckons tells the story of La Pérouse’s remarkable life and provides a lively introduction to the world of French colonialism, exploration, and society in the years before the Revolution.