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The Life of Matthew Flinders
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"In 1790, in the Lincolnshire market town of Donington, a stubborn sixteen-year-old defied his father and went to sea. Here began the remarkable career of Matthew Flinders R. N., a career that ended in his forty-first year, just days after publication of his life's work, A Voyage to Terra Australis and its accompanying atlas." "Before Flinders arrived at Port Jackson, Britain's penal colony at the far end of the earth, two names had been given to the vast empty spaces on the globe's southern hemisphere - New Holland and New South Wales. Travellers wondered whether a continent, two islands or perhaps even an archipelago occupied these uncharted waters. All this changed with Matthew Flinders's epic voyage of circumnavigation of the Great South Land." "The young commander, who was to give the continent its final shape and was the principal force behind it gaining the name 'Australia', was an obstinate, intensely ambitious man, eager to emulate the great Captain James Cook. Audacious enough to advance his interests to the most influential sponsor of the day, Sir Joseph Banks, he was a strange mixture of determination and doubt." "The Life of Matthew Flinders is a story of persistence and risk-taking, driving ambition and frustration. Miriam Estensen leads the reader through each stage of Flinders's life, revealing through his successes and frustrations the man behind the achievements. This is a richly detailed account of tragedy and short-lived triumph, of exile on an enemy island and love thwarted, of a painful early death. It is also the story of a man who left an indelible mark on a continent and a nation."--BOOK JACKET.
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