Tuesday, July 8, 2008

before blogs........

I am currently reading a fascinating book about the major Australian explorers between 1813 and 1876, who struggled to find ways across the Blue Mountains, the Great Dividing Range and the numerous deserts of the country in order to find new areas to inhabit and farm.

The book is written as extracts from the journals that they kept during their adventures, and those journals contain extraordinary prose which, although often long-winded and tediously detailed ( sound familiar?), makes gripping reading.

These 'pre internet blogs' are illustrated with detailed pencil drawings and watercolours in place of photographs, and it appears that some of the gentlemen adventurers were more competent artists than they were explorers. These guys spent days drawing and sketching the scenery and flora and fauna that they encountered in painstaking detail. I think we will stick to photographs however.

There are tales of abuse of the indigenous people, slaughter of the native wildlife, and near slavery of the convicts they took with them to provide the leg work.

I am reading each adventure as we cover the area in question, so will add a few quotes as we progress.

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