In this edited selection of his journals, Matthew Flinders, Australia’s greatest navigator and the man who named our island continent, describes in captivating detail his epic mission to map our shores between 1796 and 1803.
Edited and introduced by Tim Flannery, Terra Australis is a vital step toward a new understanding of our own history.
Flinders tells of meeting and communicating with Aborigines, of the scrub and wilderness. His descriptions of the difficulties that he and his sailors faced still bristle with energy and immediacy two hundred years later. This is Flinders’ story in his own words, neglected until now, but destined to be eagerly read by all ages.
First published in two-volumes in 1814, this is the enthralling account of the circumnavigation of Australia, by the man who gave our country its name.
Matthew Flinders was born in England in 1774. In 1789, defying his father’s wishes that he enter the field of medicine, Flinders volunteered his services to the British Navy. He became the greatest early navigator of Australia, and explored the Australian coastline with George Bass in his eight-foot long vessel Tom Thumb and later Tom Thumb II. His account of his journeys, A Voyage to Terra Australis, is one of the great achievements of our literature.
Tim Flannery is a bestselling writer, scientist and explorer. He has published over a dozen books, most recently Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific. In 2011 he was appointed chief commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission.
‘These texts convey well the nature of inshore maritime exploration then, and to Flinders’s important contributions to the delineation of Australia.’ Weekend Australian
‘With a series of finely edited versions of Australian historical classics, of which Terra Australis: Matthew Flinders’ Great Adventures in the Circumnavigation of Australia is the latest instalment, Tim Flannery and Text Publishing have made Australian history interesting again.’ Australian Review of Books
‘A fascinating document’, Sun Herald
‘Flinders’ detailed stories remain vivid to this day…described with the backdrop of the unforgettable wilderness of Australia’, Lobbyist
‘The writing is fresh, clear and entertaining.’ Australian Review of Books