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About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742751115
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

The Great Race

The Race Between the English and the French to Complete the Map of Australia




The thrilling race of Frenchman Nicolas Baudin and Englishman Matthew Flinders to chart the map of Australia.

The thrilling race of Frenchman Nicolas Baudin and Englishman Matthew Flinders to chart the map of Australia.

On the afternoon of 8 April 1802, in the remote southern ocean, two explorers had a remarkable chance encounter. Englishman Matthew Flinders and Frenchman Nicolas Baudin had been sent by their governments on the same quest: to explore the uncharted coast of the great south land and find out whether the west and east coasts, four thousand kilometres apart, were part of the same island.

And so began the race to compile the definitive map of Australia. These men’s journeys were the culmination of two hundred years of exploration of the region by the Dutch – most famously Abel Tasman – the Portuguese, the Spanish and by Englishmen such as the colourful pirate William Dampier and, of course, James Cook.

The three-year voyages of Baudin and Flinders would see them endure terrible hardships in the spirit of discovery. They suffered scurvy and heat exhaustion, and Flinders was shipwrecked and imprisoned – always knowing he was competing with the French to produce the first map of this mysterious continent.

Written from diaries and other first-hand accounts, this is the thrilling story of men whose drawings recorded countless previously unknown species and turned mythical creatures into real ones, and whose skill and determination enabled ‘terra australis incognito’ to become Australia.

  • Pub date: 1 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742751115
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the Author

David Hill

During his remarkable career, David Hill has been chairman then managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; chairman of the Australian Football Association; chief executive of the State Rail Authority; chairman of Sydney Water Corporation; and chairman of CREATE (an organisation representing Australian children in institutional care).

He has also held a number of other executive appointments in the areas of sport, transport, broadcasting, fiscal management and city parks.

In 2006 he was awarded a Diploma of Arts with merit in classical archaeology from Sydney University. He is an honorary associate at the Sydney University departments of archaeology, classics and ancient history, and a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales.

Since 2011 he has been the manager of an archaeological study of the ancient Greek city of Troizen. He has for many years been a leading figure in the international campaign to have the Parthenon sculptures returned from the British Museum to Greece.

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