Monday, July 27, 2020

History of travelling women

Has there ever been an historical expedition that did not include, in reality or legend, a woman travelling incognito?  Here's a new one on me. Today the Google Doodle salutes Jeanne Baret.

Baret sailed with de Bougainville's round-the-world voyage in the 1760s, and is therefore credited with being the first woman known to have circumnavigated the world.(It's one of those "started out disguised as a man" stories.) No folklore of a woman with the Magellan expedition survives, I guess. 

The Wikipedia entry on Jeanne Baret is a solid one. She takes her place alongside Isobel Gunn of the Hudson's Bay Company, Mary Bonny the (alleged) Caribbean pirate, the Chevalier d'Eon, French soldier and diplomat of uncertain gender, and a good many others.  

Slight Canadian connection: Jeanne Baret's expedition leader, who made her famous by publishing her story in his bestselling

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