Their story might not have ended well but the story of Burke and Wills is one that will entertain, astonish and marvel any history lover out there. As an iconic Australian exploration story, bestselling author Peter FitzSimons saw that he had no choice but to bring their adventure to life. Peter’s passion for history is evident in Burke and Wills, and this isn’t his first stab at a fascinating historical book either – there’s also Kokoda, Gallipoli and Victory at Villers-Bretonneux, to name a few!
“Australian history is fabulous, fantastic, colourful, exotic!” – Peter FitzSimons
Not familiar with the story of Burke and Wills? Let’s head on back to Melbourne, 20 August 1860 where the Victorian Exploring Expedition set off to be the first Europeans to cross the harsh Australian continent. Robert O’Hara Burke led the doomed expedition alongside surveyor and meteorologist William Wills and 17 others. The expedition was plagued by disputes, sackings, harsh landscapes and unforgiving weather.
“80% of Australia had never had a white man set foot on it.” – Peter FitzSimons
“Despite the stuff-ups,” says Peter. “He got to within 9 hours of success.”
To find out what happened to the team, we’ll let Peter fill you in! Have a listen to our chat with Peter below and why not grab a copy of Burke and Wills while you’re at it?
Burke and Wills
The iconic Australian exploration story - brought to life by Peter FitzSimons, Australia's storyteller.
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.
About the Contributor
Before entering the exciting world of books, Bronwyn served in the Royal Australian Air Force, travelled extensively and worked (still does!) as a barista on the weekends. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn's debut fantasy novel Relic is coming out in 2019 with indie publishing house Talem Press. They are to publish her entire trilogy called The Relic Trilogy. In her spare time, Bronwyn writes, reads and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for Peter Pan (J.M Barrie), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Stardust (Neil Gaiman), The Illuminae Files (Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman) and Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.