The Explorers: Stories of Discovery and Adventure from the Australian Frontier Paperback – Sep 11 2000
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From Library Journal
There are few things more interesting than reading the actual words of explorers. These are the people who witness history at its creation, and through their eyes (and words) we can truly travel back in time. Imagine, then, the experiences of explorers seeing the spectacularly beautiful continent of Australia for the first time. After a long sea voyage, they come upon a land inhabited by a culture that has been on Earth longer than any other. Struggling to find similarities with their homelands, they give this wild country names that reflect their heritage but know all the while that they have ventured into something completely unknown to them. Detailing events from the 1606 discovery of "Nova Guinea" to a solo camel ride through the outback in 1977, the 67 stories in this anthology often read like science fiction and sizzle with suspense. Flannery's (Throwim' Way Leg) thoughtful introduction and his comprehensive bibliography are alone almost worth the price of the book. All libraries will do their patrons a favor by offering them this collection of firsthand accounts of the taming of a challenging continent.AJoseph L. Carlson, Lampoc P.L., CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The conquest and settlement of Australia proves just as exciting as the conquest and settlement of North America, as readers will behold in this engrossing anthology prepared by Flannery, the director of the South Australia Museum. He has gathered 67 excerpts from a variety of accounts of Australian exploration, each one offering "the experience of being a fly on the wall at exemplary moments in Australian history" and each one, with a single exception, written by an eyewitness. The chronology ranges from 1606, when Willem Jansz (commanding a Dutch ship) paid the first authenticated visit to Australia by a European, to 1977, when a physician by the name of W. J. Peasley took his four-wheel-drive vehicle out into the Gibson Desert during severe drought conditions to rescue an elderly Aboriginal couple. In between are such interesting stories as the first European to obtain evidence of the existence of the koala (in 1802) and an 1848 narrative by an Aborigine about the tragic end of the John Kennedy Cape York expedition. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
Drawn from journals, diaries and archives, these pieces convey the struggle for survival of Europeans in an environment where they were physically and culturally at a loss. The descriptions of early contacts with Aboriginal Australians written by the explorers themselves contain valuable insights into attitudes which informed the initial gropings for understanding across a vast cultural divide. As such they provide a sobering backdrop to inform us of the factual, cultural and emotional origins of the reconciliation movement in Australia.
Flannery lets the pieces speak for themselves with minimal introductions to set the scene. The result is a readable and moving story, and good history at the same time.
Most recent customer reviews
My only criticism of Flannery's book is that it ends. I found myself wanting to read more of each story. Read morePublished on June 2 2003 by Amazon Customer
This book consists of brief excerpts from journals, letters and diaries of those foolish or brave enough to push beyond the known world along Australia's seaboards. Read morePublished on May 17 2002 by Pamela