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Rose’s booklist

On the 29th of April 1820, Rose de Freycinet was uncomfortably installed in the American three-master Mercury that was making heavy weather of the transit to Montevideo. She did, however, have some books to read.

Tapping Jenny

Coincidentally, two recent threads on LinkedIn brought Assynt to mind. And one of those threads concerned Janet Watson, geological queen of the Northwest Highlands

Smith and Hall

When the Uranie arrived off Mauritius, Rose and Louis de Freycinet found an island that had, in the previous ten years, suffered many misfortunes. Amongst these was a feud between the acting governor ad the island’s chief judge.

Mad Vlad and the 13th Century

Ayn Rand had a history degree from Petrograd University. She would surely not have muddled her centuries in the way that Valadimir Putin did, when talking to Tucker Carlson


In the instructions Joseph Gaimard copied into the diary before he left Toulon, there is a long section on field geology. Despite being written in 1817, it could very usefully be given as a guide to first-year geology students in our universities. Amongst other things, it has some very nice sketches and some wise words on the importance of context, but it also has comments on the importance of rocks that are not in situ

Witness statements: the wreck of the Uranie

On 14 February 1820, the French corvette Uranie, in the last stages of what was planned to be a science-based circumnavigation of the globe, was entering Berkeley Sound in East Falkland when it struck a rock and began to sink. Four of the people aboard the corvette left written records of the event that survive to this day.