European Discovery and Exploration of Australia

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By Erwin Feeken

About the Book

Format Dimensions Pages
Softcover 8.5x11 392

The map of Australia abounds with fascinating geographical place-names, the origins of which have, for long, been hidden in the journals of our early explorers. Now after nine years of research, Erwin Feeken, a highly qualified cartographer, and his wife, Gerda, have finalised the first complete record of Australian geographical place-names and the most comprehensive general reference work on Australian exploration ever published.

In European Discovery and Exploration of Australia, there are twenty-three beautifully drawn four-colour maps plus index showing the routes of more than 120 explorers with the locality of their named features numbered to accord with a Key to the Maps. The place-names in the Key have been numbered approximately in chronological order of their naming, though places found during a single expedition have been grouped together. There is also a gazetteer containing over four thousand place-names alphabetically arranged with notes on their origins. The map reference numbers (in brackets) form a cross-reference with the Key to the Maps.

The work is introduced by a foreword from Lord Casey and an essay on the nature of Australian exploration by Professor O. H. K. Spate, director of the Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University. The text, comprising a survey of Australian exploration, is arranged in the form of biographies of the explorers (describing, for the first time, several almost unknown figures) with emphasis on their expeditions and under the following headings: “The Approach to Australia”; “Exploration before Settlement, 1606–1788”; “From Botany Bay to the Blue Mountains, 1788–1813”; “Land and Sea Expeditions, 1813–1901.” This section of the book is very fully illustrated with 18 full-colour plates and some 150 black-and-white photographs, mostly reproductions of early prints. Concluding the book are bibliographies of sources and references, a list of illustrations, and an index of explorers and ships.

The comprehensive nature of this work will ensure that it becomes a valuable reference book for students, while the text and illustrations will appeal to all who are interested in our history. Collectors of Australiana will welcome this most attractive addition to the ever-increasing number of available publications.

About the Author

Erwin and Gerda Feeken emigrated to Australia from Germany in 1954, the year they were married, in order to pursue their interest in geography and the history of exploration. They lived first in Sydney and then moved to Hobart where Mr Feeken began his career in cartography. In order to explore the country (and accompanied by a fourteen month old daughter) the Feeken family then embarked on a bicycle trip from Hobart through the Central Highlands of Tasmania to the north coast, then from Melbourne via Orbost on the Princes Highway and Canberra to Sydney: this pilgrimage is a good indication of their dedication to the cause of Australian Exploration! After three years in Darwin, they moved to Canberra in 1960 and Grafton in 1961, in 1962 returning to Canberra, where Mr. Feeken became colour designer for geological maps with the then Bureau of Mineral resources, now Geoscience Australia.

Erwin and Gerda Feeken became interested specifically in Australian place names in 1960 when they began reading the published journals of Sir Thomas Mitchell. They found that the origins of many place names were hidden in these and other journals and that no gazetteer of them existed. Research into the origin of Australian place names, thus begun, became so absorbing that it took up most of their leisure time and grew in the course of time into the book “Discovery and Exploration of Australia”, in time for Captain Cook’s bi-centenary for discovering the east coast of Australia, in 1970. This book, “European Discovery and Exploration of Australia” is a revised edition.