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  • Isles of Despair – Ion Idriess – 1949

    Isles of Despair – Ion Idriess – 1949

    A very good copy just a little chipped to the dust jacket.

    Octavo, 290 pages, end paper maps, illustrated with good line drawings befitting the historical nature of the account. Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney a second printing 1949.

    A fictionalised account of the the true story of Barbara Thompson [Idriess Thomson] shipwrecked on the cutter “America” on the reef at Horn island and only survivor. She swam to Prince of Wales Island and lived with the Kaurareg people for five years before being found by Captain Owen Stanley and a young Thomas Huxley who as a junior officer on board the exploring vessel Rattlesnake.

    Barbara saved at last


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  • Back O’ Cairns – Ion Idriess – First Edition 1958

    Back O’ Cairns – Ion Idriess – First Edition 1958

    Published by Angus and Robertson a first edition 1956.

    Octavo, 310 pages end paper maps, other maps and illustrations from period photographs.Previous ownership name cut from corner of front free end paper otherwise a very good copy.

    Ion Idriess at his best beyond and around Cairns in the Queensland Far North with amazing early photographs. Much about the pioneers, the land and the gold.

    Idriess in the Far North a First Edition super copy.


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  • The Lure of Unknown Lands – North Pole and Equator – Major F.G. Jackson – First Edition 1935

    The Lure of Unknown Lands – North Pole and Equator – Major F.G. Jackson – First Edition 1935

    A first edition published by G. Bell, London in 1935. Large octavo, 342 pages, 44 illustrations from period photographs and three maps … North Russia; Franz Joseph Land and Central Africa. No dust jacket but otherwise a very good copy.

    The maps are large folding and in super condition … the Franz Joseph map is a classic of exploration.

    Frederick Jackson (1860-1938) probably the most unsung exploration hero of all time … a little like Hubert Wilkins. Prior to this late life summary as achievements he produced tow great classics … The Great Frozen Land [See Our Copy] and A Thousand Days in the Arctic (Both Voyager Favourites). Famously met Nansen in the Arctic frozen wastes with the Stanley /Livingston like greeting “You are Nansen – aren’t you?” .. the later having been lost for over a winter and had no clue where he actually was … saved by Jackson. The photograph of the meeting was reconstructed after Nansen had a chance to tidy up!

    Despite the title the book starts in Western Queensland and the lead up to that is most interesting. Soon we are at Waigate Island, quite a contrast and the journey from Khabarova to to Archangel. Then the big event .. the Jackson – Harmsworth Polar Expedition … Franz Josef Land … winter, new discoveries and dangers and that extraordinary meeting. Further North and eventually a third winter. After all of this cold weather and excursion to war Jackson explores Central Africa and Liberia. What a life …

    Jackson in the cold and the hot – super account


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  • Narrative of the Wreck of HMS Porpoise –  Robert Purdie [A Flinders Item]

    Narrative of the Wreck of HMS Porpoise – Robert Purdie [A Flinders Item]

    Octavo, xiv, 134 pages, published by Hordern House in 2014. A very good copy.

    Robert Purdie was a young surgeon who was wrecked on HMS Porpoise on a reef off the Queensland coast (to become known as “Wreck Reef’’). This was the vessel originally taking Matthew Flinders back the England having completed his coastal survey of Australia, confirming the entirety of the land mass. Purdie’s account had been published anonymously in The Naval Chronicle in 1807/07. He had been a junior officer on the Investigator and was among those that stayed on the reef whilst Flinders and other rowed back to Sydney to successfully mount a rescue.

    The narrative is lively, informative and readable … here well presented with an excellent introduction and notes by Matthew Fishburn

    Flinders and Wreck Reef by Surgeon’s Mate Purdie.


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  • (Australian) Settlers Camp – Newton & Co  – Original Magic Lantern Slide – c1900

    (Australian) Settlers Camp – Newton & Co – Original Magic Lantern Slide – c1900

    Very good condition magic lantern slide from Newton & Co, Fleet Street, London circa 1900, maybe earlier.

    We date the slide to around 1900. New & Co were at 43 Museum Street London. They were the world’s longest established suppliers of scientific instruments being formed by Sir Isaac Newton’s cousin J. Newton in 1704. At the time of this slide the proprietors were still from the Newton family. The British Museum have Newton & Co out of business at Museum Street in 1913, but other references have it continuing.

    The handwritten slide description included BGG who we presume is the photographer although we cannot find him in any records so far.

    An interesting moment in the bush, very dry condition. We suspect that the two forward characters are having a break from working on the sizable log in front. The gent at the rear, heavily dressed suggesting winter conditions and perhaps well away from the coast. Super detail on magnification. Standard British size in fine condition. We believe this slide and image is pretty rare not being able to place it elsewhere.

    Newton & Co’s address is in sight of the British Museum in London and also opposite The Plough …a favourite Voyager pub.

    Settler Camp we suspect in the Queensland bush


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  • Destination Barrier Reef – Arnold Lock – First Edition 1955

    Destination Barrier Reef – Arnold Lock – First Edition 1955

    Published by Georgian House, Melbourne a first edition 1955. Octavo, 227 pages, illustrated with numerous images from photographs taken by the author. End paper maps. Some dust jacket repairs, generally a nice copy. Super dust jacket art.

    A well put together book, by traveler Arnold Lock, of Queensland along the Great Barrier Reef .. we particularly like the Hinchinbrook / Cardwell section. Despite the title quite a bit in the Torres Strait and particularly Badu Island (a favourite of contemporary Idriess) and the pearling industry. Don’t whatever you do step on a stone fish … not nice.

    The Barrier Reef and further “Up” before the tourist got there … well most of them


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