I’m back!

I’m back from my working holiday in France with good news about Jose’s story of his adventures on board the Uranie while sailing around the world with Rose de Freycinet.

The National Library of Australia has agreed to publish the manuscript. There is still some tidying up to do and the usual decisions about cover, maps, diagrams and artwork to be made. But a contract is being drawn up and the work is going ahead. Yay!

While I was in Paris I wrote an Historical Note and a short ‘Bigger Picture’ piece to give readers a sense of what was happening in the wider world around the time of the 1817-1820 voyage. I also met with Henry de Freycinet again. He is the present Baron de Saulses de Freycinet and the grand nephew of Louis de Freycinet. Henry and I have stayed in touch since I first met him during my research trip to France in 2011. I ran the new ideas past him and he thinks that having Jose narrate the story, rather than Rose herself, will give a broader perspective and allow a whole range of other characters to step forward and become more developed.

Henry was able to direct me to the Archive National, where the journals written by several of the officers and crew who sailed aboard Uranie are kept, and to the Chateau de Vincennes. The medieval Chateau now houses the National Archives of the French defense forces, including the Archive de la Marine. A record of the Court Marshall, conducted in Le Havre in 1820 to investigate the wreck of Uranie, is held there. And the original plans and specifications of corvettes and frigates from that era are also available for viewing. As you can imagine, I spent many hours in each of those places. Now I can’t wait to get back into the next stage of preparing the manuscript.

To enter the Chateau de Vincennes you must cross the moat via this drawbridge.

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