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Love Monkey

PASTEUR'S GAMBIT - Louis Pasteur, The Australasian Rabbit Plague and a Ten Million Dollar Prize
by Stephen Dando-Collins

In 1998, the desperate NSW Government of Sir Henry Pakes advertised an international competition for a biological cure for the rabbit plague then ravaging the farms of Australia and New Zealand. The competition, with a prize equivalent to $10 million today, would attract 1500 entries and generate a sensational episode in Australasian history that combined science, subterfuge and scandal.

In Paris, famous French microbiologist Dr Louis Pasteur, struggling to raise the funds to open his prestigious Pasteur Institute, saw the Australasian rabbit competition as the answer to his financial prayers. For Pasteur was convinced he had the biological remedy to the rabbit plague.
Pasteur’s dashing 25-year-old nephew, Adrien Loir, was sent to Australia to prove Pasteur’s remedy and return home within six weeks with the prize money. But Pasteur had not reckoned on sabotage by his greatest scientific rival, or on the self-interest of the competition’s Australian and New Zealand judges, or the private agendas of local politicians. Young Loir, determined not to fail his uncle, was in for the fight of his life.

PASTEUR’S GAMBIT, featuring a cast of characters ranging from great names in science to legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt and a fast-talking Sydney larrikin, is the previously untold true story of an extraordinary episode in both scientific and national history.


'A compelling, carefully researched narrative ... imbues the story with a drama and sense of adventure that rarely features in Australian history.' - The Sydney Morning Herald
'Riveting.' - The Australian
'Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny is not merely good. It is a brilliant account of the rum rebellion, impartial accurate and very well written so that early Sydney comes vividly to light.' - Chester Porter QC
'This is a brilliant book. Like me you won't be able to put it down.' -
Tom Keneally
'Congratulations on a gripping read. I have not been able to put Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny down.' - Brad Manera, Head Curator, Hyde Park Barracks
'Stephen has written a great book.' - Malcolm Turnbull MP


"PASTEUR'S GAMBIT - Louis Pasteur, The Australasian Rabbit Plague and a Ten Million Dollar Prize" - published by Vintage Books - Australia
Recommended Retail AUD $34.95.
Available in Dymocks and Angus & Robertson book stores.

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