Elaine Forrestal

Rose in Brazil

This week I discovered just how firmly and enduringly Rose de Freycinet has made her mark on the world. Working away on her story, pretty much in isolation, I sometimes forget just how many people have been effected by her life. And, as often happens with these revelations, this one came right out of the blue in the form of an email from Professor Mosimann at the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, who has translated Rose’s journal into Portuguese. Like us, here in Australia, the Brazilians have a strong link with the voyage of l’Uranie. Rose and Louis spent three months in Rio de Janeiro in 1817 and another three months on their way home in 1820. In fact once they reached Rio, on their way back to France, they had officially completed their round-the-world voyage.

I find it fascinating to think that, having not seen the light of day until more than one hundred years after Rose delivered her journal to her friend Caroline de Barillon, this incredibly insightful and detailed document is finally getting world-wide attention. The journal has now been published in French, English and Portuguese (that I know of). It has also spawned two historically accurate fictional accounts for adults, one for Young Adults and a short play which has been performed at the Fremantle Maritime Museum. Then there is the movie, which is still in the planning stage but will, I’m sure, become a full-blown feature film before too long.

A small section of the Archive de Laage where documents and letters pertaining to the voyage of l’Uranie are housed.