From France to Shark Bay

The voyage of Rose and Louis de Freycinet
by
August 2022, no. 445
Buy this book

Rose: The extraordinary voyage of Rose de Freycinet, the stowaway who sailed around the world for love by Suzanne Falkiner

ABC Books, $34.99 pb, 404 pp

From France to Shark Bay

The voyage of Rose and Louis de Freycinet
by
August 2022, no. 445
Rose and Louis de Freycinet in Dili (Portuguese Timor) in 1818, painted by Charles Duplomb (photograph via State Library of New South Wales Q980/F, Wikimedia Commons)
Rose and Louis de Freycinet in Dili (Portuguese Timor) in 1818, painted by Charles Duplomb (photograph via State Library of New South Wales Q980/F, Wikimedia Commons)

The great age of sail – of European exploration and colonisation – is typically depicted as trenchantly masculine, with the only ‘women’ being unpredictable ships and the sea itself. Women have traditionally been considered bad luck, distracting, or not tough enough for life at sea. Nonetheless, historical research is increasingly revealing that many women played active roles at sea, as commanders, companions, and crew – from the gundecks of Trafalgar, to the topmasts of the American merchant navy, to the French voyages of discovery to the Indo-Pacific and Australia.

Despite being banned on French naval ships, women travelled with many French expeditions around the end of the eighteenth century, often disguised as men. The first woman known to circumnavigate the world, Jeanne Barret, sailed as the naturalist’s assistant on the Bougainville voyage. Fourteen-year-old Louison Seguin sailed to the sub-Antarctic islands on the Kerguelen expedition. Louise Girardin disguised herself as a steward to serve on D’Entrecasteaux’s voyage, while former convict Mary Beckwith escaped from Australia to Mauritius with Nicolas Baudin.

Danielle Clode reviews 'Rose: The extraordinary voyage of Rose de Freycinet, the stowaway who sailed around the world for love' by Suzanne Falkiner

Rose: The extraordinary voyage of Rose de Freycinet, the stowaway who sailed around the world for love

by Suzanne Falkiner

ABC Books, $34.99 pb, 404 pp

Buy this book

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