Peter FitzSimons - Burke and Wills - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £19.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781472128997
    • Publication date:05 Apr 2018

Burke and Wills

The Triumph and Tragedy of Australia's Most Famous Explorers

By Peter FitzSimons

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The iconic Australian exploration story - brought to life by Peter FitzSimons, Australia's storyteller.

'They have left here today!' he calls to the others. When King puts his hand down above the ashes of the fire, it is to find it still hot. There is even a tiny flame flickering from the end of one log. They must have left just hours ago.'

MELBOURNE, 20 AUGUST 1860. In an ambitious quest to be the first Europeans to cross the harsh Australian continent, the Victorian Exploring Expedition sets off, farewelled by 15,000 cheering well-wishers. Led by Robert O'Hara Burke, a brave man totally lacking in the bush skills necessary for his task; surveyor and meteorologist William Wills; and 17 others, the expedition took 20 tons of equipment carried on six wagons, 23 horses and 26
camels.

Almost immediately plagued by disputes and sackings, the expeditioners battled the extremes of the Australian landscape and weather: its deserts, the boggy mangrove swamps of the Gulf, the searing heat and flooding rains. Food ran short and, unable to live off the land, the men nevertheless mostly spurned the offers of help from the local Indigenous people.

In desperation, leaving the rest of the party at the expedition's depot on Coopers Creek, Burke, Wills and John King made a dash for the Gulf in December 1860. Bad luck and bad management would see them miss by just hours a rendezvous back at Coopers Creek, leaving them stranded in the wilderness with practically no supplies. Only King survived to tell the tale.

Yet, despite their tragic fates, the names of Burke and Wills have become synonymous with perseverance and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. They live on in Australia's history - and their story remains immediate and compelling.

Biographical Notes

Peter FitzSimons is Australia's bestselling non-fiction writer, and for the past 30 years he has also been a journalist and columnist with the Sydney Morning Herald and the SunHerlad.

He is the author of a number of highly successful books, including Kokoda, Ned Kelly and Gallipoli, as well as biographies of such notable Australians as Sir Douglas Mawson, Nancy Wake and Nick Farr-Jones. His passion is to tell Australian stories of great men and women, of stirring events in Australian history.

Peter grew up on a farm north of Sydney, went to boarding school in Sydney and attended Sydney University. An ex-Wallaby, he also lived for several years in rural France and Italy, playing rugby for regional clubs. He and his wife Lisa Wilkinson - journalist, magazine editor and currently co-presenter of TODAY on Channel 9 - have three children; they live in Sydney.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472128980
  • Publication date: 05 Apr 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Constable
Hachette Australia

The Bulldog Track

Peter Phelps
Authors:
Peter Phelps
Hachette Australia

Murder at Dusk

Ian W. Shaw
Authors:
Ian W. Shaw

Far away from any World War II battlefront, the citizens of Melbourne lived in fear of a serial killer - the Brownout Strangler.May 1942: Melbourne was torn between fearing Japanese invasion and revelling in the carnival atmosphere brought by the influx of 15,000 cashed-up American servicemen. But those US forces didn't guarantee safety. Not long after their arrival, the city would be gripped by panic when the body of a woman was found strangled, partially naked and brutally beaten. Six days later another woman was found dead and her body told the same horrific story. A murderer was stalking the streets. As women were warned not to travel alone, an intense manhunt ensued. Not long after a third woman was murdered, American soldier Eddie Leonski was arrested. A calculating psychopath, he had a twisted fascination with female voices, especially when they were singing . . . Acclaimed author Ian W. Shaw brings World War II Melbourne to life, and takes us into the mind of the Brownout Strangler, and a very different kind of terror.'enthralling . . . makes for a fascinating read.' Canberra Times on Ian W. Shaw's The Rag Tag Fleet

Hachette Australia

HMAS Sydney

Tom Frame
Authors:
Tom Frame
Back Bay

Sting-Ray Afternoons

Steve Rushin
Authors:
Steve Rushin

ONE OF AMAZON'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017A wild and bittersweet memoir of a classic '70s childhoodIt's a story of the 1970s. Of a road trip in a wood-paneled station wagon, with the kids in the way-back, singing along to the Steve Miller Band. Brothers waking up early on Saturday mornings for five consecutive hours of cartoons and advertising jingles that they'll be humming all day. A father-one of 3M's greatest and last eight-track-salesman fathers-traveling across the country on the brand-new Boeing 747, providing for his family but wanting nothing more than to get home.It's Steve Rushin's story: of growing up within a '70s landscape populated with Bic pens, Mr. Clean and Scrubbing Bubbles, lightsabers and those oh-so-coveted Schwinn Sting-Ray bikes. Sting-Ray Afternoons paints an utterly fond, psychedelically vibrant, laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of an exuberant decade. With sidesplitting commentary, Rushin creates a vivid picture of a decade of wild youth, cultural rebirth, and the meaning of parental, brotherly, sisterly, whole lotta love.

Constable

Monash's Masterpiece

Peter FitzSimons
Authors:
Peter FitzSimons

The Battle of Le Hamel on 4 July 1918 was an Allied triumph, and strategically very important in the closing stages of WW1. A largely Australian force commanded by the brilliant John Monash, fought what has described as the first modern battle - where infantry, tanks, artillery and planes operated together, as a coordinated force.Monash planned every detail meticulously - with nothing left to chance: integrated use of planes, wireless (and even carrier pigeons!)was the basis, and it went on from there, down to the details.Infantry, artillery, tanks and planes worked together of the battlefront, with relatively few losses. In the words of Monash: 'A perfect modern battle plan is like nothing so much as a score for an orchestral composition, where the various arms and units are the instruments, and the tasks they perform are their respective musical phrases.'

Hachette Australia

Rogue Nation

Royce Kurmelovs
Authors:
Royce Kurmelovs
Hachette Australia

The Death of Holden

Royce Kurmelovs
Authors:
Royce Kurmelovs

An extraordinary account of the impending closure of the Holden factory in Adelaide. More than the end of a business - it's the end of an era, of a story, and of a great Australian dream.When Holden signalled that it would close its Adelaide factory, it struck at the very heart of Australian identity. Holden is our car made on our shores. It's the choice of patriotic rev heads and suburban drivers alike. How could a car that was so beloved - and so popular - be so unprofitable to make?The story of the collapse of Holden is about the people who make and drive the cars; it's about sustaining industry in Australia; it's about communities of workers and what happens when the work dries up. And if it's not quite about the death of an icon - because Holdens will remain on Australian roads for a long time to come - then it's about what happens when an icon falls to its knees in front of a whole nation.This updated edition features a new chapter.'Brilliant and powerful' Nick Xenophon

Hachette Australia

Dragon and Kangaroo

Robert Macklin
Authors:
Robert Macklin
Hachette Australia

44 Days

Michael Veitch
Authors:
Michael Veitch

'Brilliantly researched and sympathetically told, 44 DAYS is more than just a fitting tribute to brave but overlooked heroes. It's also a top read.' DAILY TELEGRAPHThe epic World War II story of the heroes of Australia's 75 Squadron - and the 44 days when these brave and barely trained pilots fought alone against the Japanese.In March and April 1942, RAAF 75 Squadron bravely defended Port Moresby for 44 days when Australia truly stood alone against the Japanese. This group of raw young recruits scrambled ceaselessly in their Kittyhawk fighters to an extraordinary and heroic battle, the story of which has been left largely untold.The recruits had almost nothing going for them against the Japanese war machine, except for one extraordinary leader named John Jackson, a balding, tubby Queenslander - at 35 possibly the oldest fighter pilot in the world - who said little, led from the front, and who had absolutely no sense of physical fear.Time and time again this brave group were hurled into battle, against all odds and logic, and succeeded in mauling a far superior enemy - whilst also fighting against the air force hierarchy. After relentless attack, the squadron was almost wiped out by the time relief came, having succeeded in their mission - but also paying a terrible price.Michael Veitch, actor, presenter and critically acclaimed author, brings to life the incredible exploits and tragic sacrifices of this courageous squadron of Australian heroes.

Hachette Australia

The Rag Tag Fleet

Ian W. Shaw
Authors:
Ian W. Shaw
Little, Brown

Force of Nature

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper
Constable

The Shard

Howard Watson
Authors:
Howard Watson

'We were told we would never get planning consent and we did. We were told we would never be able to fund it and we did. Then we were told we would never be able to build it and we did.' Irvine SellarIn 2000, Irvine Sellar, a former market trader famous for helping to create the look of the Swinging Sixties on Carnaby Street, stood on a rooftop in Southwark, London, and decided to build the tallest building in western Europe. He had virtually no experience, and he wanted to build at the wrong height, in the wrong place, on the wrong side of the river and at the wrong time.Twelve years later, the Shard, a 'vertical city' designed by one of the world's leading architects, Renzo Piano, changed the skyline of London. It immediately became one of the most instantly recognizable and admired contemporary buildings in the world.This is the story of one man's vision for London and his determination to redefine an ancient but maligned part of the city despite seemingly insurmountable challenges including mass opposition, a huge planning inquiry, the financial crash, and major construction issues that required radical improvisation at every turn. At every twist in the tale, Sellar refused to give up.The Shard is a tale of extreme ambition, innovation and a relentless desire to recast the skyscraper as a force for good.

PublicAffairs

Perfect Strangers

Roseann Sdoia
Authors:
Roseann Sdoia

As Roseann Sdoia waited to watch her friend cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, she had no idea her life was about to change-that in a matter of minutes she would look up from the sidewalk, burned and deaf, staring at her detached foot, screaming for help amid the smoke and blood.In the chaos of the minutes that followed, three people would enter Roseann's life and change it forever. The first was Shores Salter, a college student who, when the bomb went off, instinctively ran into the smoke while his friends ran away. He found Roseann lying on the sidewalk and, using a belt as a tourniquet, literally saved her life that day. Then, Boston police officer Shana Cottone arrived on the scene and began screaming desperately at passing ambulances, all full, before finally commandeering an empty paddy wagon. Just then a giant appeared, in the form of Boston firefighter Mike Materia, who carefully lifted her into the fetid paddy wagon. He climbed in and held her burned hand all the way to the hospital. Since that day, he hasn't left her side, and today they are planning their life together.Perfect Strangers is about recovery, about choosing joy and human connection over anger and resentment, and most of all, it's about an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston's worst day.

Hachette Australia

Mount Buggery to Nowhere Else

Eamon Evans
Authors:
Eamon Evans

The stories behind Australia's many, many strange, inappropriate and downright hilarious place names.From Dismal Swamp to Useless Loop, Intercourse Island to Dead Mans Gully, Mount Buggery to Nowhere Else, Australia has some of the strangest, funniest, weirdest and most out-of-place names going - now described and explained in one humorous and fascinating book.Australia's vast spaces and irreverent, larrikin history have given us some of the best place names in the world. Ranging from the less than positive (Linger and Die Hill, NSW), to the indelicate (Scented Knob, WA), the idiotic (Eggs and Bacon Bay, TAS) to the inappropriate and the just plain fascinating, MOUNT BUGGERY TO NOWHERE ELSE is a toponymical journey through this nation of weird and wonderful places.'A hilarious and unusual tour of Australia and its history.' DAILY TELEGRAPH

Hachette Australia

Maralinga

Frank Walker
Authors:
Frank Walker

'Utterly gripping. It reads like a thriller.'JON FAINEThis edition contains a new author note with shocking new material that has come to light as a result of the groundbreaking original publication.Investigative journalist Frank Walker's MARALINGA is a must-read true story of the abuse of our servicemen, scientists treating the Australian population as lab rats, and politicians sacrificing their own people in the pursuit of power.During the Menzies era, with the blessing of the Prime Minister, the British government exploded twelve atomic bombs on Australian soil. RAAF pilots were ordered to fly into nuclear mushroom clouds, soldiers told to walk into radioactive ground zero, sailors retrieved highly contaminated debris - none of them aware of the dangers they faced.But the betrayal didn't end with these servicemen. Secret monitoring stations were set up around the country to measure radiation levels and a clandestine decades-long project stole bones from dead babies to see how much fallout had contaminated their bodies - their grieving parents were never told. This chilling expose drawn from extensive research and interviews with surviving veterans reveals the betrayal of our troops and our country.

Hachette Australia

The Tiger Man of Vietnam

Frank Walker
Authors:
Frank Walker
Hachette Australia

Hamilton Hume

Robert Macklin
Authors:
Robert Macklin
Hachette Australia

Hamilton Hume

Robert Macklin
Authors:
Robert Macklin

'You almost feel you are taking that trek with the party as Robert Macklin cites the obstacles - torrential river crossings, dense bush, the Snowy Mountains and more. Macklin covers Hume's public and private life, emphasising his affinity with the country and rapport with the Indigenous people, as well as providing a portrait of the evolving colony.' SYDNEY MORNING HERALDWhile English-born soldiers, sailors and surveyors have claimed pride of place among the explorers of the young New South Wales colony, the real pathfinder was a genuine native-born Australian. Hamilton Hume, a man with a profound understanding of the Aboriginal people and an almost mystical relationship with the Australian bush, led settlers from the cramped surrounds of Sydney Town to the vast fertile country that would provide the wealth to found and sustain a new nation.Robert Macklin, author of the critically acclaimed DARK PARADISE, tells the heroic tale of this young Australian man who outdid his English 'betters' by crossing the Blue Mountains, finding a land route from Sydney to Port Phillip and opening up western New South Wales. His contribution to the development of the colony was immense but downplayed in deference to explorers of British origin. HAMILTON HUME uncovers this brave man's achievements and paints an intriguing and at times shocking portrait of colonial life, by the author of the bestselling SAS SNIPER.'Robert Macklin calls Hamilton Hume 'our greatest explorer', and now that I've read this enthralling but at times shocking story, I totally agree.' ***** GOOD READING

Hachette Australia

Ambon

Roger Maynard
Authors:
Roger Maynard

In February 1942 the Indonesian island of Ambon fell to the might of the advancing Japanese war machine. Among the captured Allied forces was a unit of 1150 Australian soldiers known as Gull Force, who had been sent to defend the island - a strategy doomed from the very beginning.Several hundred Australians were massacred in cold blood soon after the Japanese invasion. But that was only the start of a catalogue of horrors for the men who survived: incarcerated, beaten and often tortured by their captors, the brutality they endured lasted for the next three and a half years. And in this hellhole of despair and evil, officers and men turned against each other as discipline and morale broke down.Yet the epic struggle also produced heroic acts of kindness and bravery. Just over 300 of these gallant men lived to tell of those grim days behind the barbed wire. In Ambon, survivors speak of not just the horrors, but of the courage, endurance and mateship that helped them survive.The story of Ambon is one of depravity and of memories long buried - but also the triumph of the human spirit. It has not been widely told - until now.

Hachette Australia

The Men Who Came Out of the Ground

Paul Cleary
Authors:
Paul Cleary

By February 1942 the Japanese had invaded the Dutch East Indies as part of their push south. All that stood in the way of their moving significant resources to take part in the main fighting in Papua New Guinea was a force of 700 Australian commandos and a few hundred Dutch soldiers. After months of skirmishes and attacks on Japanese forces, the Australians faced a major offensive and despite the best efforts of the individual soldiers, Australian forces were withdrawn at the end of 1942. But by then an entire Japanese division had been prevented from taking part in the Papua New Guinea campaign. THE MEN WHO CAME OUT OF THE GROUND tells the story of the heroic fighting, courage and ingenuity in the face of supply and equipment problems, and the support and friendship of the locals. It's the story of Australia's Special Forces in action and achieving what they set out to do.