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On 19 November 1838 James Bell, then aged 21, set out in the sailing vessel the Planter from St Katharine Docks in London to travel to Adelaide, an infant colony half a world away and not yet two years old. He left behind family, good friends and the mysterious 'C.P.', a young woman with whom he hoped one day to be reunited...The journey usually took 130 days, but due to the incompetence of the captain and the many misadventures encountered it took the Planter almost six months to reach its destination. Along the way it lost a crew, several passengers and much livestock; it gained a new crew and at least one extra passenger. The drunken brawls and licentious couplings horrified James Bell who, to while away the time, penned a detailed account of all the comings and goings for the eyes of 'C.P.' only, sternly advising her that 'it must never be read by a third party'...Sustained by his sense of adventure, his love of poetry, his faith in his Presbyterian God, his nostalgic memories of rural Scotland and particularly by his affection for 'C.P.', James Bell maintained a vivid and astute record of his historic journey. His voice travels down to us, more than a century and a half later, and reminds us of the dangers and joys of such an adventurous leap into the unknown...
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Comments about Private Journal of a Voyage to Australia:
I bought this hoping it would include the conditions on board a convict ship and what the men went through on the long voyage. This Convict writes about the wind about one or two people and about being above deck. Look its not really informative in what people really wanna know. If you want to get an inside look at what the voyage was really like, I'd skip this.
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st December 2011
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Edition Number: 1