'I feel the need to strip away the assumptions that clothe the historical figure of Jeanne Barret, to see the flesh and bone beneath, the beating heart and thinking brain of the person who lived and breathed but left no words for us to hear. Who was this woman?'
When the first woman to circumnavigate the world completed her journey in 1776, she returned home without any fanfare at all.
Jeanne Barret, an impoverished peasant from Burgundy, disguised herself as a man and sailed on the 1766 Bougainville voyage as the naturalist’s assistant. For over two centuries, the story of who this young woman was, why she left her home to undertake such a perilous journey and what happened when she returned has been shrouded in uncertainty.
Biologist and award-winning author Danielle Clode embarks on a journey to solve the mysteries surrounding Jeanne Barret. The result is an ode to the sea, to science and to one remarkable woman who, like all explorers, charted her own course for others to follow.