Back in the mid-1960s, plate tectonics was still in its infancy but the origin of the shallow rises in the Tasman Sea, as strips of Australia peeled away like layers on an onion, was already pretty obvious. Inevitably, there was speculation on possible links between ophiolites in eastern Papua and New Caledonia.
I assumed that Christmas would be a time of misery for Ayn Rand, being a time at which many people were giving each other presents, and in her Galt’s Gulch Utopia even the word ‘give, was forbidden. I was wrong. She loved it.
On 26 September 2002, the London auction house Christie’s sold an archive described as ‘The Freycinet collection’. At its heart was a collection of early publications and original artwork from the 1817-20 voyage of the Uranie. But how did this collection, originating in France, come to be auctioned in London? That is a story that has its origins in Wesrern Australia.