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Manuela’s marriage

When Rose de Freycinet was in Rio de Janeiro in December 1817 and January 1818 she saw very little of the crioulas, the women of pure Portuguese decent, but what she did see did not impress her. She had a much better opinionof of their Spanish-speaking sisters, the criollas of Montevideo, a city she visited in May 2020, but had she been at that time by some miracle transported across the continent to the city of Quito, she would have found there a criolla whose conduct she would have found even more shocking, but for very different reasons.

The illness of Louis de Freycinet

For the first few days after the beaching of the Uranie in Berkely Sound, Louis de Freycinet proved himself a man of action, but then he became ill, and remained so for much of his remaining time on the island. However, the French editors of Rose de Freycinet’s diary, published in 1927, decided that this fact should be very largely supressed.

Ida’s Sumatra Journey

Perhaps the most determined of all the women who travelled during the 19th Century was a Viennese widow called Ida Pfeiffer. One of her most dangerous undertakings was to enter, unaccompanied by any other Europeans, into the lands of the Bataks of Sumatra


Just as Rose was about to leave Réunion, the French frigate Cybèle anchored in the roads a few cable lengths away and collided with the Uranie, breaking loose an anchor and nearly breaking the bowsprit. Who was this careless and incompetent captain, and why was he in the Indian Ocean?

Charles de Freycinet

Readers of the 1927 edited version of Rose de Freycinet’s diary may well feel that she could have said more about her meeting on Mauritius with her brother-in-law Charles. But she did say more. It was simply edited out.


When Rose de Freycinet started to write her diary of her voyage on the Uranie, she began with two very personal paragraphs addressed to the person for whom it was intended. She did not name the friend, not did she explain why she ended her diary so abruptly, writing almost nothing about her last month in Rio de Janeiro and nothing at all about the journey home from there