In 1860, an eccentric Irish police officer named Robert O'Hara Burke led a cavalcade of camels, wagons and men out of Melbourne. Accompanied by William Wills, a shy English scientist, he was prepared to risk everything to become the first European to cross the Australian continent.
A few months later, an ancient coolibah tree at Cooper Creek bore a strange carving: 'Dig Under 3ft NW'. Burke, Wills and five other men were dead. The expedition had become an astonishing tragedy.
About the Authors
Sarah Murgatroyd reveals new historical and scientific evidence to tell the story of the disaster with all its heroism and romance, its discoveries, coincidences and lost opportunities. Introduced by Geoffrey Blainey and generously illustrated with photographs, paintings and maps, The Dig Tree is a spell-binding book.
Sarah Murgatroyd was born in England in 1967. In 1993 she moved to Australia with her future husband, travelling extensively, providing news and current affairs coverage for the BBC. To research The Dig Tree, Murgatroyd retraced the footsteps of Burke and Wills three times while enduring chronic pain. She died of cancer in March 2002, a few weeks after The Dig Tree was published to universal acclaim.
Geoffrey Blainey was professor of economic history and then Ernest Scott professor of history at Melbourne University. He has written more than thirty books, and many focus fully or partly on the outback.