GUEST POST: In the Archives with Nicolas Baudin

In the archives with Baudin

Edited by Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby ‘Roaming Freely Throughout the Universe’: Nicolas Baudin’s voyage to Australia and the pursuit of science is a collection of essays written in the context of the French explorers’ belief that studying in situ was the only way for science to move forward.

Drawing on a range of archival sources, the essays presented here offer fresh perspectives on Baudin’s scientific voyagers, their work and its legacy. What emerges is a deeper appreciation of the Baudin expedition’s contribution to the pursuit of science, and of those who pursued it.

In a special three-part guest series on the blog, John West-Sooby discusses how the book came to be, and the discoveries made along the way. In this first instalment, we discover the important role that historical archives played in shedding light on the voyage.

Read on below.

Banner image: Terre De Diemen: Ile Maria. Tombeaux des Naturels, (detail) by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur

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GUEST POST: Noris Ioannou on Thylacines, Dingoes, and the Eureka Flag

Drawing on the research he conducted for Vernacular Visions: A Folklife History of Australia – art, diversity, storytelling, Noris Ioannou discusses the links between thylacines and dingoes, and the way that modern media mirrors the past.

In this special guest post, learn about how the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger is linked to the plight of dingoes in our current times; how the earliest Australian women’s communal artwork is under threat, and how it all links back to folk art.

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GUEST POST: Wendy Scarfe’s brush with book censorship

Wendy Scarfe is the author of A Mouthful of Petals, a nonfiction account of three years working in an Indian village in the early 1960s. Previously published, it became a classic among good samaritans, particularly in Britain, and was reviewed by The Times, New Statesman and such like.

In this guest post, Wendy reflects on a past brush with book censorship and her experiences writing and publishing a biography amidst political turmoil.

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GUEST POST: Ed Pegge on star power

Ed Pegge on Star Power

Hilarious, charming and self-effacing, meet Edmund Pegge, one of Australia’s most prolific supporting actors.

Travelling between England and Australia and working on stage, in film and on television for over fifty years, Ed Pegge knows all the tricks and all the trials of a working actor’s life.

In this guest post, Ed writes about the nuances of fame, and the benefits of taking a brief rest every now and again from being a star.

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AUTHOR GUEST POST: Wendy Scarfe on revisiting the past

Wendy Scarfe, A Mouthful of Petals and revisiting the past

In this special guest post, Wendy Scarfe talks about her experiences writing A Mouthful of Petals with her late husband, Allan Scarfe.

A Mouthful of Petals is a nonfiction account of three years working in an Indian village in the early 1960s. Previously published, it became a minor classic, and has since been re-released by Wakefield Press. This new edition includes an account of Wendy Scarfe’s return trip to Sokhodeora during a famine in the late 1960s, and how those who live in Bihar state fare in the early twenty-first century.

‘It describes with warmth, sympathy and occasional near-despair, the life of an Indian village from the inside’ – Nancy Cato

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GUEST POST: John Read on the lessons lockdown has to offer

John Read on living remotely during a pandemicJohn Read is used to working remotely, and often in accidental isolation. An ecologist and author, John lives on South Australia’s largest privately managed nature reserve with his wife, children and endangered malleefowl and marsupials.

We asked John to write about his experiences living and working in the most remote parts of Australia, and how things have changed (if at all) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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