Six centuries before the birth of Christ, men began to dream of a vast land at the bottom of the world, a land of marvels, of immense wealth and mystery.
Discovery is the story of a quest which, across two millennia, compelled men in small ships to traverse unknown seas, to endure extraordinary hardships, to slowly unveil the last discovered continent.
Discovery begins among ancient Greek philosophers on the shores of the Mediterranean. It ends on 1 April 1770 on the coast of New Zealand. On that day Lieutenant James Cook RN decided the time was right to sail the Endeavour west - a passage across the Tasman Sea to the first recorded landfall on Australia's east coast.
Lucidly and concisely, weaving together new discoveries from shipwrecks and original sources, Miriam Estensen tells an absorbing tale of lonely galleons and map makers, Spanish hidalgos and Dutch merchants, remote coasts and castaways, buccaneers and dreamers.
Above all, this is the story of how an imagined place was made real, how the speculations of visionaries became Terra Incognita and then Australia. Discovery is a 'prequel' to Robert Hughes' international bestseller The Fatal Shore.