The Extraordinary Story of Rose de Freycinet

Join us for a conversation with Suzanne Falkiner, author of a biography of Rose de Freycinet, the first woman to write an account of a global circumnavigation.

Suzanne will discuss her research into the incredible story of the young Frenchwoman who was smuggled aboard her husband's ship, the Uranie, in 1817, becoming the only woman on the three-year scientific voyage around the world.

Rose's presence on the voyage was deliberately omitted from official narratives of the journey, and little was known about her life until recently. This talk will focus on a series of original images that demonstrate the process of removing Rose from the final publications.

Attendees will view books, manuscripts and pictures held in the Caroline Simpson Collection that relate to Rose de Freycinet and the voyage of the Uranie in 1817-20.

The conversation will be hosted by Mel Flyte, Collection Discovery Assistant at the Caroline Simpson Library.

Copies of Rose: The Extraordinary Story of Rose de Freycinet, signed by the author will be available for purchase on the night for $35. Cash only

About Suzanne Falkiner

Suzanne Falkiner is a Sydney writer. After growing up on a sheep station in central-western NSW, she spent several years travelling in Asia, Europe and South America, and living in Paris, Umbria and New York. Suzanne is the author of 13 books, including Mick: a life of Randolph Stow, which was short-listed for several biography awards. It was while researching this last book that she discovered the story of Rose de Freycinet, as she walked on a remote beach at Shark Bay in Western Australia. Suzanne has always had a fondness for beachcombing in distant places, for which biographical research provides a wonderful excuse.

The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Phone +61 2 8239 2233

Caroline Simpson Library

The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Phone +61 2 8239 2233
  • Cafe
  • Wheelchair accessible
Plan your visit
  • 8 March 2024
    6pm – 8pm

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Watercolour of a group of people landing ashore

Rose redacted

How Rose de Freycinet was erased from the official narrative of the 'Uranie' voyage

Detail of the four poster bed and beaded watch pockets in the Principal bedroom, Vaucluse House

Watch pockets

Watch pockets hung on the head cloth of a four-post bedstead and originally served in place of bedside tables, which were uncommon in the 19th century

Acquisition of the John and Phyllis Murphy wallpaper collection

Wall to wall: a marvellous wallpaper collection

A remarkable donation of over 3000 wallpaper samples by John and Phyllis Murphy adds to our existing collection to form Australia’s largest repository of historic wallpapers