The Discovery of Jeanne Baret by Glynis Ridley
I enter a lot of giveaways for a lot of different books, but this one, which I won from Linda at Silly Little Mischief is one that I think is the "best" win for me. It isn't necessary my favorite our of all the books I won. But when you compare the likelihood of me discovering it on my own with how much I enjoyed it, the payoff is high.
The book is a biographer of Jeanne Baret, a female botanist who dressed as a man, and without much of the world's knowledge became the first woman to circumvent the world. I always love reading books where I learn new things, and this was such a book for me.
I didn't just learn Jeanne's story, but a brief history of botany, as well as what it was like to sail the world. It also did a good job at imagine what it may have been like to discover new lands that Europeans had never discover. And one thing I especially loved, was there was a brief part about Peter Piper (of the pickled peppers), who I had no idea was a historical figure.
But while there was a lot of historical facts, there was not a lot about Jeanne herself. Yes, there are a few historical documents that mention her, but so much of the book felt like speculation. I would love to be able to know more about her, but unfortunately it doesn't look like there is a lot of information. We do have a few key facts, but without quite a bit of speculation it is hard to tell her story.
Even so I really enjoyed her story as well as the rest of the book. (Although I would have loved to have had a map included so I could easily trace Jeanne's passage around the world.) I did see that the author has another historical book, Clara's Grand Tour: Travels with a Rhinoceros in Eighteenth-Century Europe, which I think I would love as well, and probably should pick up at some point.
Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!
15 hours ago