The Explorers: Stories of Discovery and Adventure from the Australian Frontier

ISBN: 0802137199
ISBN 13: 9780802137197
By: Tim Flannery

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Adventure Australia Australian Australiana Currently Reading Exploration History Non Fiction To Read Travel

About this book

A lively collection of extraordinary stories of adventure and discovery, The Explorers tells the epic saga of the conquest and settlement of Australia. Editor Tim Flannery selects sixty-seven accounts that convey the sense of wonder and discovery, along with the human dimensions of struggle and deprivation, which occurred in the exploration of the last continent to be fully mapped by Europeans. Beginning with the story of Dutch captain Willem Janz's 1606 expedition at Cape York -- the bloody outcome of which would sadly foreshadow future relations between colonists and Aboriginal peoples -- and running through Robyn Davidson's 1977 camelback ride through the desolate Outback deserts, The Explorers bristles with the enterprise that Flannery explains as "heroic, for nowhere else did explorers face such an obdurate country."

Reader's Thoughts


Tim Flannery is an excellent writer, but this book is simply a collection of passages (with his editorial comments) from ships' logs and personal journals. Many of these tell of encounters - some good, many hostile - between the aborigines and the European explorers. My criticism is that Flannery has tried to do too much, using brief excerpts that tell woefully incomplete stories. It would have been more effective to choose a few early explorers and tell a more thorough story, and thus give the reader a real taste of early Australian exploration.


Very informative, if dry at times. Book is compiled of actual accounts of exploration spanning over three centuries. All accounts told from the perspectives of explorers.

Lucas Russell

An interesting collection of excerpts from European explorer of Australia. It is a great introduction to some important players in the history of Australia. Now that libraries and museums around the world are scanning source documents, this is a useful list of references for anyone wanting to learn more about history to start their exploration.

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