The Dig Tree: The Story of Burke and Wills

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Text Publishing Company, May 16, 2010 - History - 384 pages
7 Reviews
A gripping retelling of the ill-fated journey of Burke and Wills.

In 1860 an eccentric Irish police officer named Robert O'Hara Burke led a cavalcade of camels, wagons and men out of Melbourne. Accompanied by William Wills, a shy but ambitious 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, in central Australia, bore a strange carving: 'Dig Under 3ft NW.' Burke, Wills and five other men were dead. The expedition had become an astonishing tragedy-and its leaders were quickly lionised.

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. The Dig Tree is a gripping account of one of Australia's most notorious events.

'A masterpiece of exploration history-entertaining, trenchant, a marvel.' National Geographic

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Review: The Dig Tree: The Story of Bravery, Insanity, and the Race to Discover Australia's Wild Frontier

User Review  - Alex Mcgrath - Goodreads

Magnificently Researched and written. Good balance of historical, personal, geographic, and political-economic contextual. Makes me want to go on a camel trip to the outback. Read full review

Review: The Dig Tree: The Story of Bravery, Insanity, and the Race to Discover Australia's Wild Frontier

User Review  - Sandra - Goodreads

This was such an amazing account of one man's bravery, some may say foolishness, to discover a route across Australia in the early days. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Sarah Murgatroyd was born in England in 1967 and grew up on a farm in Sussex. After a year in China, India and the Himalayas, she gained an honours degree in Philosophy and Literature at Warwick University, and then studied broadcast journalism at Cardiff University. In 1993 she came to Australia where she travelled extensively, providing news and current affairs coverage for the BBC. To research The Dig Tree she retraced the footsteps of Burke and Wills across Australia. Sarah died of cancer in March 2002, a few weeks after The Dig Tree was first published.

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