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Burke and Wills  : The triumph and tragedy of Australia's most famous explorers - Peter FitzSimons

Burke and Wills

The triumph and tragedy of Australia's most famous explorers

Hardcover Published: 31st October 2017
ISBN: 9780733634109
Number Of Pages: 704

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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, Charley Gray 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 our nation's history - and their story remains immediate and compelling.

WRITE A REVIEW

Lightweight

3

I've read a few of Peter Fitzsimon's histories and they are all very similar in that there is a clear attempt to make them modern and readable. Which is commendable. But a technique I think he uses is to 'imagine' what people said and did. I stand ready to be corrected if in fact Mr Fitzsimons has historical evidence for his descriptions and accounts. But for me it detracts from the actual story. Part of the allure of history for me is the mystery. The fact that we have to read between the lines, and won't know exactly what happened. I don't mind authors drawing conclusions but I dislike putting words into peoples mouths. I found myself skipping page after page of this book. Whatever happened to editors?!

Brisbane

false

Another great book from the author

5

Australian history is essential

Perth

true

Wonderful history and adventure

3

Once you are past the first 5 chapters, the story takes shape.

Queensland, Australia

true

Signed copy

5

Nice cover,

NSW

true

Terrific book

5

Love the book,well put together important part of our history

Rushworth vic aust

true

An excellent read. This is Peter Fitzsimmons at his best.

4

Very readable and a gripping and plausible reconstruction of the events portrayed

Glenorchy Tasmania

true

'Burke & Wills' a must have for Australian History buffs

5

If you are into Australian history like I am then you must have this book in your home library. After visiting the 'Dig Tree' it inspired me to find out as much as I could about Burke & Wills and Peter Fitzsimons has done a phenomenal job of bringing to life the story of these two explorers. This book sits proudly alongside Peter's other books as I find him a very skillful writer of Australia's past.

NSW, Australia

true

Bloody wonderful.

5

I will be buying copies for some of my mates for Christmas.

Seven Hills NSW

true

Most stirring account of what happened and how.

5

Is a very good source of Australian history. Sad ending but very informative

Sunshine Coast Qld

true

38773778

4.4 9

88.9

Strongly grounded in empirical research and context, Burke & Wills has much to commend it. It will undoubtedly please the author's established readership, and its enthusiastic and colourful prose style will no doubt serve to encourage younger readers to develop a passion for Australian history. - Weekend Australian

ISBN: 9780733634109
ISBN-10: 0733634109
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 704
Published: 31st October 2017
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.0  x 6.1
Weight (kg): 1.07
Edition Number: 1

Peter FitzSimons


About the Author


Peter FitzSimons is one of Australia's most prominent and successful media and publishing identities.

His busy professional life involves writing weekly columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, appearing on Foxtel's The Back Page television show and, when time permits, authoring best-selling books. A correspondent for London's Daily Telegraph as well, he is also in high demand as a guest speaker and presenter.

For the past two decades, the much-traveled former Wallaby rugby international, who masters four languages, has interviewed some of the world's most famous figures, including former US President George Bush, Mother Theresa and football great Diego Maradona.

Writing is his passion. He is the biographer of World Cup winning Wallaby captains Nick Farr-Jones and John Eales, former Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, war heroine Nancy Wake, former Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh and magazine queen Nene King.

In 2001 he was Australia's biggest selling non-fiction author with just under 250,000 sales. He duplicated that feat in 2004 with his book on Kokoda and had similar success in 2006 with his book on Tobruk.

Born on a farm in NSW's Central Coast, Peter FitzSimons attended Knox Grammar School in Sydney before accepting an American Field Service Scholarship to live in Ohio for a year. He returned to complete an arts degree at Sydney University, majoring in government and political science.

A second-rower, he won Wallaby selection in 1984, later moving to France and Italy where he played rugby for the next five years. On his return to Australia he again played for the Wallabies going on to play seven Test matches.

He launched his journalistic career with the Sydney Morning Herald in 1989. Two years later he released two best-selling books, Basking in Beirut and Little Theories of Life and signed a contract with the Nine Network that resulted in him presenting current affairs and sports programs for the next four years. His association with Foxtel commenced in 1995 and continues to this day.

Considered one of the ten most popular after-dinner speakers in Australia, Peter FitzSimons is married to Nine Network personality Lisa Wilkinson and they have three children.

To read Peters's revealing answers to the Booktopia Book Guru's TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - and to leave a comment - CLICK HERE

Visit Peter FitzSimons's Booktopia Author Page


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