Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia, from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845 [with the separately issued map]. Ludwig LEICHHARDT.
Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia, from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845 [with the separately issued map].

Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia [with the separately issued map].
Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia, from Moreton Bay to Port Essington, a distance of upwards of 3000 miles, during the years 1844-1845 [with the separately issued map].

London: T. & W. Boone, 1847.

Octavo, with frontispiece and six aquatint plates in the text (one folding); bookplate; a very good copy in the original cloth, accompanied by the three large folding maps in a modern cloth folder of matching size and colour.

Leichhardt, complete with the maps

First edition: a handsome copy of a pivotal document in the history of Australian exploration, with the text volume in the original publishers blind-blocked cloth binding and corresponding to the primary issue described in Australian Rare Books, with correct first issue lettering on the spine, publisher's advertisements and slip advertising the release of Jukes' Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly. This copy is complete with the large three-sheet map by Arrowsmith: based on Leichhardt's observations, it was an extensive and detailed record of a significant part of the Australian continent hitherto unknown. Published separately at an advanced price, not many copies were issued and it is now rarely found with the text.

First edition: a handsome copy of a pivotal document in the history of Australian exploration, with the text volume in the original publishers blind-blocked cloth binding and corresponding to the primary issue described in Australian Rare Books, with correct first issue lettering on the spine, publisher's advertisements and slip advertising the release of Jukes' Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. Fly. This copy is complete with the large three-sheet map by Arrowsmith: based on Leichhardt's observations, it was an extensive and detailed record of a significant part of the Australian continent hitherto unknown. Published separately at an advanced price, not many copies were issued and it is now rarely found with the text.

Ludwig Leichhardt's Journal of an Overland Expedition documents one of the most unlikely and courageous ventures ever undertaken in the history of the continent. 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 trek of stupefying distance, difficulty and endurance spanning 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 perilous 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.

Provenance: Bookplate of D.H. McInnes.

Ferguson, 4571; Wantrup, 138a and 139.

Condition Report: Text volume in fine and tight condition, the original cloth binding apparently lightly varnished. The maps with some light staining and folds weakening with some short tears; the 'Detailed Map' with some ink blots.

Price (AUD): $17,750.00

US$13,170.33   Other currencies

Ref: #4504450

Condition Report