- ISBN: 1440-4788
- Author: Thomas A. Darragh & Roderick J. Fensham
- Principal Author: Principle Authors
The first printed English translation of the German explorer and scientist Ludwig Leichhardt’s diaries from 1841-1844.
During the 30 months covered by the diaries, Leichhardt arrives in Australia as a diligent student from the lower strata of Prussian society without connections, capital or prospects; and by the closing passages he reveals his intentions to mount the first expedition across the north-eastern quarter of the continent.
The diaries reveal how Leichhardt navigated his way through Sydney society and then found his confidence as a scientific traveller, along the way acquiring the array of skills that define a ‘bushman’. The pages illuminate the state of European settlement, the nature of aboriginal culture and the geography of the Australian east coast with detailed observations on the natural world. Amidst the detailed scientific notes are sections that allow an intimate acquaintance with the author.
The diaries are a valued addition to anyone’s library, bringing to life part of Australia’s rich geographical, botanical and social history. The accompanying appendices are themselves a wonderful addition. The names and places indexes provide an excellent tool for assisting historians and genealogists while the previously unpublished letter from Leichhardt to the Archers in 1844, held by the Queensland Museum Library provides a further glimpse into his life. Also included is an index of the rock and mineral names used by Leichhardt and an aboriginal word list which includes the names of his informants as well.