Maggs Bros Ltd

A Successful Exploration Through The Interior of Australia,From Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. From the Letters and Journals of William John Wills.

WILLS William (1863.)

£800.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. Portrait frontispiece and folding map. 8vo. Fine original publisher's green cloth, spine gilt, but darkened, minor joint repair, with the elaborately decorated endpapers. xii, 396, 32 ads.pp. London,

A fair copy of this work, with the sought after vibrant wallpaper endpapers which are patterned in blue, green, red, pink and gold; according to Wantrup "no such copy should be passed by." In 1860 William Wills and Robert O'Hara Burke set out at the head of an expedition to cross Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria, a distance of approximately 1,750 miles. At the time most of inland Australia was a mystery to the European settlers and the government of South Australia had offered a reward of £2000 in 1859 for the first successful crossing of the continent from south to north, west of 143°. Whilst the south-north leg was completed relatively successfully, both Burke and Wills died on the return journey owing to a combination of poor leadership and bad luck. In total seven of the 19 expedition members lost their lives, and only one man, John King, travelled the entire distance and returned alive to Melbourne. Ferguson, 18622; Wantrup, 172.

Stock Code: 225154