Many believe that Alfred Howitt, an experienced bushman who had already taken a small and successful expedition into South Australia’s outback, should have led the Burke and Wills Expedition. Instead, he was given the task of discovering what happened to the missing men.
Howitt’s story makes enthralling reading. He recounts the discovery of the two dead explorers, and the recovery of the sole survivor, John King. In the final part of the story, Howitt reflects on the return expedition to collect the two bodies. Finding Burke and Wills republishes a talk Howitt gave in Adelaide more than 40 years later in 1907, with the explorer looking back on the two expeditions.
This volume is enlivened with many vibrant and intricate drawings from the 1858 expedition. Sketched by Babbage, and also by David Herrgott, many of these are being published for the first time.
A scholarly introduction by Valmai Hankel thoughtfully unites the wide scope of this publication. Portraits of the protagonists, and a map especially drawn for the book, complete an unusual, fascinating and beautifully presented addition to the Friends’ Australiana publications. First published in 2010