Australia Twice Traversed. The Romance of Exploration, being a Narrative compiled from the Journals of Five Exploring Expeditions into and through Central South Australia and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876. Ernest GILES.
Australia Twice Traversed. The Romance of Exploration, being a Narrative compiled from the Journals of Five Exploring Expeditions into and through Central South Australia and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876
Australia Twice Traversed. The Romance of Exploration, being a Narrative compiled from the Journals of Five Exploring Expeditions into and through Central South Australia and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876

Australia Twice Traversed. The Romance of Exploration, being a Narrative compiled from the Journals of Five Exploring Expeditions into and through Central South Australia and Western Australia, from 1872 to 1876

London, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1889.

Octavo, two volumes, lx, 320 and xii, 364 pages with 25 illustrations plus a frontispiece portrait, 20 plates and 6 colour folding maps.

Pictorial grey-green cloth lettered in gilt; covers a little rubbed and marked; extremities a little worn (with tidy repairs to the head and foot of the spine); spines mottled and discoloured; tear to one leaf repaired with tissue (now discoloured); edges occasionally a little chipped and torn from careless opening; overall, a decent set.

Provenance: James Andrews, one of just three men to accompany Giles on his second expedition in Central Australia in 1873-74. A silver fob watch owned by him and inscribed 'J. Andrews' accompanies the books. Later inscriptions in ink on the recto of each frontispiece trace this provenance. Written in the first volume is: 'See front page of Vol. 2. A.E. Wagener (Jack). Handed down by Jimmy Andrews to us. + 1 watch'. The inscription in the second volume states: 'Andrews was a friend of our family and these books were handed by him to my mother V.V.M.W. then past [sic] to me A.E. Wagener (Jack) 1925. 2 Books + 1 Watch'.

Ernest Giles (1835-1897) embarked on his second expedition (to find a route to the coast of Western Australia, starting from Ross's Water-hole in the Alberga Creek, one of the principal tributaries of the Finke River) in August 1873. 'The expedition consisted of four members - namely, myself, Mr. William Henry Tietkens, Alfred Gibson, and James Andrews' (Volume 1, page 141). Starting further south than his first expedition, 'Giles followed the line of the Musgrave Ranges which, unknown to him, had already been seen by William Gosse. On reaching Mount Olga which he had earlier named from a distance, Giles found from Gosse's draytracks that he had been anticipated but since they soon turned back he was encouraged to persevere. He spent the next summer trying to break through to the west from a base in the Tomkinson Range and in autumn persisted in attacking the desert from a northerly point in the Rawlinson Range. A desperate final effort cost him the life of one of his men, who gave his name to Gibson's Desert, and brought Giles himself close to death; the exhaustion of his supplies compelled him to retreat, defeated, to the overland telegraph line' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography'). Over 250 pages of the two-volume work are devoted to this lengthy second expedition, which ran from early August 1873 to July 1874.

The 'young fellow named James Andrews, or Jimmy as we always called him' is mentioned by name regularly throughout the account, and he features in one illustration and four plates. The fact that he was generally left holding the fort did not keep him out of the firing line, as the plates graphically illustrate. Giles was clearly fond of him, but 'Jimmy of course, my reader can see, was a queer young fellow' (Volume 1, page 220), and twelve months in his company was probably hard work. These may not be expeditionary artefacts, but any items associated with any member of any significant Australian inland expedition from the nineteenth century must be deemed rare.

Wantrup 202a.

Item #114086

Price: $10,000.00

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