Mr. Stuart's Track: The Forgotten Life of Australia's Greatest Explorer

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9780330423618: Mr. Stuart's Track: The Forgotten Life of Australia's Greatest Explorer
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On 14 May 1858, an expedition led by John McDouall Stuart departed from a copper mine located on the very edge of the known world in the North Flinders Ranges. The Australian continent stretched for another 1,200 miles to the north and 1,500 miles to the west. No man had the slightest idea of what was there. It was to be the first of six expeditions mounted by Stuart, then aged 42, as he sought to uncover the mysteries of the interior and forge a path to the north. Ultimately he became part of a race across the continent, his rivals being the Burke and Wills expedition. In the end, Stuart was the first European to cross Australia from south to north and return again as the cumbersome expedition of Burke and Wills turned from farce to tragedy. Yet, Stuarts hero's welcoming was short lived. Mr. Stuart's Track is a fascinating study of a loner and explorer who battled alcoholism and ill-health. He pushed himself to the limits of endurance while crossing straight through the red center to the northern seas of Australia.

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