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The First Woman to Circumnavigate

Posted By Jennifer Handley, March 9, 2014
Today, March 8, is International Women's Day and I happened to stumble upon a blog posted by the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research that is not just appropriate to the day, but also has a connection to those of us who set sail for distant shores.  The blogger celebrates a species (Solanum baretiae) whose namesake is French botanist Jeanne Baret (1740-1807). According to the blog, Jeanne was the first woman to circumnavigate the world, albeit disguised as a man. In the pursuit of her passion for botany and in order to accompany her lover, Philibert Commerson, (also a botanist), she sailed on the ship, L'Étoile, under the command of Louis Antoine de Bougainville. To read the full blog, go to http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2014/03/solanum-baretiae.php.

Further investigation led to a book by Glynis Ridley that I am tempted to read now that I have apparently will have more time on my hands as a "retiree" - The Discovery of Jeanne Baret:  A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe.

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Tags:  first woman circumnavigator  Jeanne Baret 

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