Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia…. Ludwig LEICHHARDT.
Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia…

Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia…

London: T. & W. Boone, 1847.

Octavo, with seven plates including frontispiece, vignettes, 4 & 8 pp. advertisements at front (the first dated June 1848), and a further 8 pp. at rear; a handsome copy in recent tan crushed morocco by Sangorski, with the original publishers cloth and backstrip preserved (mounted on card leaves and bound at the rear).

"It was at the end of September, 1844…"

An attractive copy of Leichhardt's famous journal, documenting one of the most unlikely and courageous expeditions of inland exploration.

An attractive copy of Leichhardt's famous journal, documenting one of the most unlikely and courageous expeditions of inland exploration.

When Leichhardt arrived in Sydney in February 1842 he was considered learned but eccentric: he possessed no bush craft skills, had poor eyesight and was unable to shoot. Yet he proved a quick learner and launched successful forays as far north as Moreton Bay. For some years settlers had eagerly talked of finding a route from southern Queensland to the Northern Territory, so linking their abundant grazing districts with Asian markets. When a Government funded expedition stalled, Leichhardt headed his own venture funded by pastoralists and business-men impressed by the seemingly indefatigable German.

What followed was one of the longest journeys of Australian inland exploration, a stupefying trek of 4,800 kilometres. The party was racked by interpersonal conflict, inexperience and continual hostility from local Aboriginal tribes (in late June 1845 one member was killed and two others seriously injured during a raid near the Gulf of Carpentaria). After fourteen months they finally reached Port Essington in the Northern Territory in a state of exhaustion.

When Leichhardt and his men returned to Sydney they had been given up as lost. Celebrations lasted for months and he was hailed 'the prince of explorers' and received a sizeable sum raised by public subscription. His scientific and geographic work was greatly admired during his lifetime, but his reputation as an expeditionary leader has been criticised since. Leichhardt's mercurial temperament and mysterious death during a later expedition have become part of the mythology of European Australia. From the Collection of Robert Edwards.

Abbey 'Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860', 579; Australian Rare Books, 138a; Ferguson, 4571.

Price (AUD): $6,500.00

US$4,788.84   Other currencies

Ref: #4106013