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The Explorers: Stories of Discovery and Adventure from the Australian Frontier Paperback – Sep 11 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (Sept. 11 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802137199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802137197
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #392,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

From Booklist

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

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an anthology of excerpts from Australian Explorers journals ranging from early sixteenth century European Explorers to Australians in the early 20th century. Flannery's introduction for each provides an excellent, concise biography and set up to each explorer's excerpt. In many of the excerpts, an explorer faces death and disaster. The most intriguing initially was Charles Sturt writing of his attempt to find the mythical lake in the center of Australia. He brings a boat, experiences weather so hot it bursts a thermometer his party carries, they suffer from extreme scurvy, and Sturt's desire to be the first to reach the center of Australia. The second explorer I read in this collection was Ernest Giles. His except focuses on an expedition with his assistant Gibson, who goes for help and manages to get lost, and then Giles slowly makes his way back to base camp. Reading The Explorers fascinated me enough that I wanted to read more about specific explorers like Giles, but also about Australian explorers in general.
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By A Customer on Jan. 5 2001
Format: Paperback
Australia's small history makes a book like this diffifult to stay interested in. Of course, we are a lucky country fortunate enough to have prospered from these fine explorers and Flannery captures this brilliantly. But there is a time when the discoveries of a new animal or native remind the reader of how quickly one can lose their mind to something else as one can't help but take it for granted or compare their countries history with one far greater and more enlightening from a place such as Great Britain or America. However, Flannery is aiming to make Australian history sit right up there amongst the cream of the crop for a rich past - we as the reader know this isn't possible but feel a sense of pride in what these explorers did to help develop our free and thriving country. The author does not have much to contribute within the book. He writes a few brief footnotes or may stretch himself to an introduction of a small to mid paragraph for each. Yet, we must remind ourselves this is a history book so there is not much room for creativity. I suggest this book is worthwhile for someone passionate or interested in the Australian history, but if you are made to read this whether it be school or uni do it in sections. Otherwise, you will find it tedious. In the end you will find it rewarding - especially (as an Australian resident) when you next visit Botany Bay, Cape York or wherever it may be.......you will stop and think at just how lucky we are.
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Format: Paperback
Look at a map of Australia. The interior of the continent will be marked with rivers, lakes and localities. But if you go there the rivers will be dry, the lakes just salt and the localities just a handfull of people. This collection of first impressions by the first Europeans to see this wide brown land reveals their awe at the beauty and terror of the alien and essentially empty landscape.
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.
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