OnThursday evening we launched To See the World in the theatre at the State Library of WA. It was a more formal occasion than any of my other book launches, but it went off without a hitch and was an interesting and entertaining event. The Virtual Freycinet Exhibition was also launched during the function so I had very professionally produced visuals up on the screen behind me as I spoke, without the usual anxiety about whether the technology would work. Anne Chappel, who is in charge of the celebrations for the 25th year of the State Library of WA, and her team of hard-working people, did most of the organising. I must say I am impressed with the ability of the team to pull together so many diverse people; musician, computer technician, MC, five speakers – including the French Consul for WA – not to mention security, caterers and wine suppliers.
Georg Corall, who is the musician in residence at the Library for the whole of this year, played late 18th and early 19th century music on his harpsichord, which was a rare treat. And Peter Forrestal negotiated with Alex Wright from Voyager Estate to supply some lovely wines to go with the finger food. Voyager Estate did seem like a most appropriate wine to serve for the launch of a book about Rose de Freycinet’s voyage around the world on board the Uranie. Apart from the fact that Peter and Alex are friends from way back, there was an even more compelling reason for this choice. The original name of Voyager Estate was Freycinet. Sometimes these things are meant to be.