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Cooper's Creek by Alan Moorehead
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Cooper's Creek (1963)

by Alan Moorehead

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Hard to imagine that by 1860 'Australia' was, to the rest of the world, the littoral in its south east with a few other foothold cities and settlements. The vast centre of this continent was uncharted. The disastrous expedition led by Burke and Wills was a well resourced attempt to explore the interior. In the end it did succeed in tracing a route from Melbourne on the south coast to the Gulf of Carpenteria on the north. This book relates the history of the appalling privations and tragedies that the expedition is remembered for. Alan Moorehead who made his name as a WW2 war reporter became a highly regarded writer of popular narrative history till his career was ended by complications following a stroke in the mid 60s. This is a beautifully written book. Restrained and evocative. ( )
  jefffromclapham110 | Jan 9, 2014 |
Alan Moorehead has a must-read niche in my mind. I enjoyed this exploration of an epic Aussie trek. I was unfamiliar with the extent that exploration was an internal competition as far as this expedition went. It didn't end well, and one sees why. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 23, 2013 |
An interesting account of the first exploration group to cross the interior of Australia from south to north. Also a tragic story since three of the four explorers died through a combination of poor planning, poor communication, and missed rescue opportunities. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
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Here perhaps, more than anywhere, humanity had had a chance to make a fresh start.
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In 1860, an expedition set out from Melbourne, Australia, into the interior of the country, with the mission to find a route to the northern coast. Headed by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills, the party of adventurers, scientists, and camels set out into the outback hoping to find enough water and to keep adequate food stores for their trek into the bush. Almost one year later, Burke, Wills, and two others from their party, Gray and King, reached the northern shore but on their journey back, they were stranded at Cooper's Creek where all but King perished. Cooper's Creek is a gripping, intense historical narrative about the harshness of the Australian outback and the people who were brave enough to go into the very depths of that uncharted country.… (more)

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