When the Uranie was approaching Rio de Janeiro, it had on board a very unhappy Rose de Freycinet. That changed soon after they had landed, because in Rio she found two new friends.
When Rose de Freycinet visited Sydney, and despite having been robbed almost as soon as she set foot in the town, she saw advantages in the British method of founding a colony.
In the published French editions of Rose de Freycinet’s journal there is a gap between the arrival of the Uranie off the coast of New South Wales and the 27th of November, more than a week after she anchored in Neutral Bay. Was that week devoid of incident? Absolutely not.
During the three long years she was away from France, Rose de Freycinet wrote letters to her mother, and after her return copies were made and were preserved in the Freycinet family archives. Is it possible that there were not one but two transcriptions, and the second set was never completed?
One of the most prized possessions in Western Australia’s Battye Library is the manuscript of the diary kept by Joseph-Paul Gaimard during the first half of the planned (but never to be completed) round-the-world scientific voyage of the French corvette Uranie. For Western Australians its main interest is in the pages devoted to the ship’s two-week stay in Shark Bay, in 1818.
When I first began working in the eastern part of Papua New Guinea, I was struck by the quite aggressively English names of the major features of its geography. But then, as our project moved offshore, a French influence began to appear.