John Keay - The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Australia - Little, Brown Book Group

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The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Australia

By John Keay

  • E-Book
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Landfall at Botany Bay - James Cook
The son of a Yorkshire farm labourer, Cook won distinction as a naval hydrographer but was still a controversial choice to command a voyage of scientific observation to the Pacific in 1768. Its results, including the first coastal surveys of New Zealand and eastern Australia, led to a second voyage to the south Pacific and a third to the north Pacific, during which he was killed in a fracas with the Hawaiians. It was a tragic end for one whose humble origins disposed him to respect indigenous peoples. "They are far happier than we Europeans", he noted of Australia's aborigines following a brief encounter at Botany Bay (Sydney), the first European landing on the Pacific coast, in 1770.

Escape from the Outback - Charles Sturt
After pioneering journeys to the Darling and Murray rivers, in 1844-5 Sturt headed north for the heart of Australia. Since the continent appeared to have few seaward draining rivers it was assumed that, alike Africa, it must boat an inland lake region; a boat was therefore included amongst the expeditions equipment. But Sturt failed to reach the geographical centre of the continent, and the largest stretch of water found was at Coopers Creek, later to figure so prominently in the endeavours of Burke and Wills. Sturt's painful retreat during the hottest summer on record formed a fitting prelude to the Wills saga.

Death at Coopers Creek - William John Wills
In early 1861 Robert O'Hara Burke, William Wills and John King reached Australia's northern coast on the Gulf of Carpentaria, thus completing the first transcontinental crossing. Returning the way they had come, after four months of appalling hardship they staggered into Sturt's Coopers Creek where men and supplies had been left to await their return. They were just eight hours too late; the relief party, despairing of their return, had left that very morning. One of exploration's most poignant moments was followed by one of its most protracted tragedies as the expedition tried to extricate itself, failed, faded, and died. Only King survived; three months later he was discovered living with the aborigines; Will's heartbreaking journal was found lying beside his skeleton.

To See the Sea - John McDouall Stuart
Modest, dedicated, immensely tough and thoroughly congenial, Stuart was very much an explorer's explorer. With little support or fuss he began probing north from Adelaide in the late 1850's. In 1860 he was the first to reach the centre of the continent, thus completing the work of Sturt. Although Burke and Wills just beat him in the race to cross the continent, Stuart's 1862 route was much longer and more difficult; and he did actually reach the sea. He was also to return alive.

Biographical Notes

John Keay is the author of twenty books, all factual, mostly historical, and largely to do with Asia, exploration or Scotland. His first book stayed in print for thirty years; many others have become classics. A full-time author since 1973, he has also written and presented over 100 documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and has been a guest lecturer on tour groups. He travels extensively.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472100078
  • Publication date: 07 Jun 2012
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Robinson
Robinson

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'Humorous, emotional and useful...Don't read Departures if you've got any annual leave left to play with'GraziaHave you ever turned up on a post-heartbreak holiday hopelessly unprepared and been forced to sleep on the floor wrapped up in a curtain? How about that eagerly-awaited solo adventure when you had to be airlifted home? Or what about the time you went to a fascinating European cultural capital and neglected to visit any of the world-renowned sights because you were in the bar? Well, Anna Hart has been on all those holidays, and more. As an avid traveller and then travel journalist, she's spent most of her working life on a plane somewhere, and over 10 years writing about the places she's ended up. In Departures she brings all of that knowledge together with the signature warmth and wit of her journalism. Anna is here to show that even the experts get it wrong, and how to get it right . . .

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The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: North America

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First Crossing of America - Alexander Mackenzie"Endowed by nature with an acquisitive mind and an enterprising spirit", Mackenzie, a Scot engaged in the Canadian fur trade, resolved, as he out it "to test the practicability of penetrating across the continent of America". In 1789 he followed a river (the Mackenzie) to the sea; but it turned out to be the Arctic Ocean. He tried again in 1793 and duly reached the Pacific at Queen Charlotte Sound in what is now British Columbia. Although this was his first recorded overland crossing of the continent, Mackenzie was not given to trumpeting his achievement. In his narrative it passes without celebration and very nearly without mention.Meeting the Shoshonee - Meriwether LewisAs Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary, Lewis was chosen to lead the US government's 1804-5 expedition to explore (and to establish US interests) from Mississippi to the Pacific. Travelling up the Missouri river to the continental divide in Montana, Lewis left the main party under his colleague William Clark, and scouted ahead. With everything now dependant on securing the goodwill of the formidable Shoshonee, he showed admirable caution; but the issue was eventually decided by a fortuitous reunion between the Indian wife of one of his men and her long-lost brethren.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: South America

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The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arctic

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The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Antarctic

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The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Siberia and Alaska

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