The Discovery of Jeanne Baret Book Description
A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe
The year was 1765, King Louis XV had ordered the first French expedition around the world, appointing eminent botanist Philibert Commerson to seek out medicines, spices and other resources that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire. Desperate not to be left behind, twenty-six-year-old Jeanne Baret – Commerson’s peasant-born mistress, and a deeply knowledgeable plantswoman in her own right – disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. As the ship stopped at strange new lands, the secret lovers disembarked to collect and classify plants unknown to Western science, including the showy vine bougainvillea. But it wasn’t long before the crew members on the cramped ship began to suspect her true identity. With this incredible true tale of intrigue on the high seas, Glynis Ridley offers a forgotten heroine the chance to bloom at long last.
What hope could there be for a working-class woman to challenge a national hero? A woman who had hoped to deceive her shipmates for two or more years would readily invite the charge that she was a liar. Worse still for Baret, contemporary views about the proper sphere of female activity guaranteed that any display of her botanical knowledge in print would have branded her a whore. (Page 8 )
I am finding this a fascinating read – it is clearly very well researched and the delivery is quite conversational.
I currently have 2 paperback copies of this title to giveaway
Looking forward to reading your teasers!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.