The anonymous authors of this article use ‘The Memoirs and Travels of Maurice Augustus, Count de Benyowsky’ (1790), a two-volume work by Maurice Benyowsky (1746-1786) to introduce readers to the eastern coast of Formosa (Taiwan) and the people that Benyowsky encountered when he travelled there in 1771. The first half of the article relates the conflicts that Benyowsky had with the natives while the second half focuses on observations of the island and its people.
Born near Trnava in present-day Slovakia, at the time part of Hungary and the Austrian Empire, Benyowsky served in the Austrian Army and was involved in the Polish nationalist movement against Russia. He subsequently travelled to France and Madagascar, where he was elected emperor by the local kings. He died in 1786, in a conflict with French authorities.