A new book co-edited by UKZN’s English Studies Professor Lindy Stiebel and Professor Jane Carruthers (UNISA) focuses on a little-known but fascinating contribution by Thomas Baines to Augustus Gregory’s North Australian Expedition.
Entitled Thomas Baines: Exploring tropical Australia 1855 to 1857, the book depicts the artist-explorer’s audacious attempt, in an open longboat with two companions, to link up with Gregory at the Albert River at the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Stiebel said the book, which took eight years to produce, was “a long time in the making”.
“In this book, for the first time, the remarkably accurate map that Baines compiled of this voyage, and extracts from the accompanying manuscript journals are evaluated and published,” said Stiebel. “The hardships suffered by these men, their courage in dangerous waters and their encounters with Aboriginal Australians provide detailed insights into the complexities of Australian mid-nineteenth century history.”