Blog post from Wednesday, 6 May, 2015

Almost two hundred years ago, in 1817, 23-year-old Rose de Freycinet created a scandal in Paris. She disguised herself as a sailor and secretly boarded the French corvette, Uranie—captained by her husband Louis.

The couple didn’t want to be parted during his three year scientific voyage around the world.

Rose’s name and image were erased from the voyage’s official drawings and reports.

1n 2013, The State Library of New South Wales purchased the journal written by Rose de Freycinet on board the Uranie. It details her observations in the Pacific Islands and particularly of Sydney.

In Sydney, Rose and Louis were wined and dined by society in 1819 - including the Macquaries, the Macarthurs, the Pipers and the Kings .

There were invitations to balls, beautiful homes and gardens and carriage rides. The French were struck by the architectural beauty and progress of the new colony

Rose de Freycinet’s journal is the first written account by a woman of a circumnavigation of the world.

See more about this amazing story and the Library’s acquisition

- ABC Radio National