Australia Twice Traversed. Ernest GILES.

Australia Twice Traversed.

London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, Limited, 1889.

Two volumes, octavo, with 21 plates, six folding coloured maps and illustrations in the text; bound in modern brown quarter cloth, gilt, the original decorated front boards tipped in at the rear of each volume.

"The last of the Australian explorers…"

First edition: 'arguably the most handsomely produced of late nineteenth-century Australian books' (Wantrup).

First edition: 'arguably the most handsomely produced of late nineteenth-century Australian books' (Wantrup).

Giles, with some justice, called himself 'the last of the Australian explorers', and was the first to attempt the crossing from the Telegraph Line to Western Australia. In 1872 he set off from Chambers Pillar with two companions on a modest expedition, financed largely with the help of Ferdinand von Mueller. Failing to cross Lake Amadeus, he turned back, but not before he had traversed some 1000 miles of hitherto uncharted territory. Giles cherished the hope of making a successful crossing, and although 'forestalled by Peter Warburton and John Forrest, Giles succeeded in his cherished aim of making an overland crossing from South to Western Australia in 1875. Equipped with camels by Thomas Elder, he set out from Beltana and went for supplies to Port Augusta whence he proceeded first north-west and then west along a string of waterholes, Wynbring, Ooldea, Ooldabinna and Boundary Dam, until he reached the Western Australian border.' (ADB)

Australia Twice Traversed represents the collected narratives of Ernest Giles's five expeditions through the centre and the west of Australia from 1872 to 1876. Giles struggled repeatedly to find an overland route to Western Australia, but it was not until his expedition of 1875-6 that he achieved the extraordinary feat of crossing the continent from South to Western Australia, via the Great Victoria Desert, and returning via Gibson's Desert (which he had earlier named after one of his men).

Ferguson, 9914; Australian Rare Books, 202a.

Price (AUD): $3,500.00

US$2,578.61   Other currencies

Ref: #4503916