Rose de Freycinet

Rose and Louis de Freycinet going ashore in Dili from the National Library of Australia Picture Collection

At last I am able to return to work on my ‘big’ project.

Whilst I thoroughly enjoy getting out into schools and libraries, doing workshops and talking about my books, by the end of September each year I am always looking forward to getting back into my office and concentrating on my own writing. This year that means reconnecting with the fiesty Rose de Freycinet.

For those of you who don’t know, or have forgotten, Rose stowed away, at the age of 22, aboard her husbands ship, l’Uranie, in 1817. She dressed as a man, boarded the ship in the middle of the night and became the first woman to leave a comprehensive and detailed record of her voyage around the world. Rose is also the first European woman (that we know of) to set foot on Western Australian soil and was present when first contact was made with the Aboriginal people of the Shark Bay Region. The voyage on l’Uranie took three years and one month. For much of that time Rose was the only woman amongst 125 men living and working on board the ship. During their epic voyage they were attacked by pirates, dined with canibals and, within striking distance of home, they were shipwrecked on a remote island in the Faulklands.

Watch this space for more about Wild Rose: the story of Rose de Freycinet.

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