French explorer and naval officer Jean-Franois de la Prouse (1741 - 88) was, after James Cook, the greatest explorer of the Pacific in the eighteenth century. In 1785, La Perouse was commissioned by Louis XVI to head an expedition into the uncharted regions of the Pacific Ocean. Setting out from France, the expedition over the next three years was the first to map the coasts of California, Alaska, and Siberia. From there, La Prouse continued to Easter Island and Hawaii, where La Prouse Bay bears his name. After a stop in Botany Bay, Australia, La Prouse'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 Prouse's ships has been found. Where Fate Beckons tells the story of La Prouse's life and adventures, along the way providing a lively introduction to the world of French colonialism, the end of the Age of Exploration, and French society in the years leading to the French Revolution.