Author(s): Sarah Murgatroyd
Wills knew that he was fading fastest. On 26 June, he decided the only honourable thing to do was to sacrifice himself to save his companions. â€ ̃Without some change,â€TM he wrote, â€ ̃I see little chance for any of us.â€TM
In 1860, an eccentric Irish police officer named Robert Oâ€TMHara Burke led a cavalcade of camels, wagons and men out of Melbourne. Accompanied by William Wills, a shy English scientist, he was prepared to risk everything to become the first European to cross the Australian continent.
A few months later, an ancient coolibah tree at Cooper Creek bore a strange carving: â€ ̃Dig Under 3ft NWâ€TM. Burke, Wills and five other men were dead. The expedition had become an astonishing tragedy.
Sarah Murgatroyd reveals new historical and scientific evidence to tell the story of the disaster with all its heroism and romance, its discoveries, coincidences and lost opportunities. Generously illustrated with photographs, paintings and maps, The Dig Tree is a spell-binding book.
'Sarah Murgatroyd deftly captures the foolishness, suffering and hapless heroism of one of the 19th-century's least-known, but most epic, undertakings. I can almost guarantee that you will be biting your nails by the time you reach the Dig Tree of the title - and more than that I cannot say without spoiling this remarkable and addictive tale.' - Bill Bryson
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