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The Great Race

The Race Between the English and the French to Complete the Map of Australia
Narrated by: Paul English
Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the afternoon of 8 April 1802, in the remote southern ocean, two explorers had a remarkable chance encounter. Englishman Matthew Flinders and Frenchman Nicolas Baudin had been sent by their governments on the same quest: to explore the uncharted coast of the great south land and find out whether the west and east coasts, four thousand kilometres apart, were part of the same island. And so began the race to compile the definitive map of Australia.

These men’s journeys were the culmination of two hundred years of exploration of the region by the Dutch - most famously Abel Tasman - the Portuguese, the Spanish and by Englishmen such as the colourful pirate William Dampier and, of course, James Cook. The three-year voyages of Baudin and Flinders would see them endure terrible hardships in the spirit of discovery. They suffered scurvy and heat exhaustion, and Flinders was shipwrecked and imprisoned - always knowing he was competing with the French to produce the first map of this mysterious continent.

Written from diaries and other first-hand accounts, this is the thrilling story of men whose drawings recorded countless previously unknown species and turned mythical creatures into real ones, and whose skill and determination enabled Terra Australis Incognita to become Australia.

©2012 David Hill (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The story of Flinders is fascinating and Hill's narration of his expeditions is compelling ... The author's sensitive portraits of Flinders and other historical figures are one of the book's strengths." ( The Australian)

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The Story of Australia that I Never Knew

I love history and this was a story I knew nothing about. I thought that the narrator was excellent and the story very interesting and compelling. I highly recommend this book for anyone who love exploration and discovery.

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  • Michael
  • 02-24-16

Thank You Flinders & Baudin

What a fantastic book for an Aussie to read. Don't miss this important part of our history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer2
  • 07-03-19

Very interesting

I love the exploration history of Australia and this added further to that interest. I was not aware of the English and French almost simultaneously setting out to map the coast of Australia. At one stage toward the middle of the book I almost gave up because of the many and varied French names of explorers and ship names. It’s a book that can easily be heard twice,since it contains so much information.
Paul English is a great narrator, who makes a huge difference to a story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-19

very informative I enjoyed listening to the whole

I love listening to the whole book you gave me great insight into the coastline that I have lived on and voted on for many years and the extraordinary lives of those who navigated and Maps around it