It’s great to see that the ripples are still spreading and have reached the UK.
200 years after the French Navy corvette, l’Uranie, landed on the shores of Shark Bay with Rose de Freycinet illegally on board there is still enough interest in her story worldwide for me to receive a request for information about her pupil, Jose. Prompted by the current Exhibition at the Maritime Museum in Perth, where Rose’s journal is on display, a scientist who is studying and writing about gravity and a student of maritime history in France, have made contact with me. Both Jose and Rose had their images removed from the official painting depicting the camp the ship’s company made at Shark Bay in September 1818. They were both on board the ship in unusual circumstances. Rose had stowed away and her husband, Louis de Freycinet, had forbidden his crew from mentioning her in their journals and paintings. Jose had been picked up on Mauritius, at the request of his father who was a friend of Louis. He was being taken to France to be educated and Louis thought that it would be a good idea for Rose to give him some lessos on the way, since she was becoming bored by the long periods they were spending at sea and the boy would be way behind his peers in France otherwise. As it turned out, Rose and Jose had quite a lot in common and Jose eventually became a dedicated companion to Rose.
Since I am in France at the moment (and for the next month) I will now do some more investigations into these two fascinating characters. So much more has been added to the story by the recent translation of part of the journal of Dr Gaimard, the physician on board the round-the-world voyage of l’Uranie from 1817-1820.
Stay tuned and I will see what turns up.