Discovery: The Quest for the Great South Land

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Allen & Unwin, 1999 - Australia - 286 pages
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How an imagined land became a real continent

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DISCOVERY: The Quest for the Great South Land

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A map of the social, historical, and often mythical impulses that led the Western world on a search for the great Southern Continent—and Australia's distilling of society's most fantastic dreams and ... Read full review

Discovery: the quest for the great south land

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Estensen, who lives in Australia, takes the reader on a journey of 2000 years, beginning with a description of the geology and life of the last unknown continent. Maps from Renaissance Europe showed ... Read full review


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The English Quest

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Page 244 - ... there is reason to believe that lands and islands of great extent, hitherto unvisited by any European power, may be found in the Atlantic Ocean, between the Cape of Good Hope and the Magellanic Streight, within the latitudes convenient for navigation...
Page 233 - New Holland is a very, large tract of land. It is not yet determined whether it is an island or a main continent; but I am certain that it joins neither to Asia, Africa, nor America.
Page 80 - Equator, and is maintained by some to be of so great an extent, that, if it were thoroughly explored, it would be regarded as a fifth part of the world'.
Page 80 - Australis Terra' is the most southern of all lands, and is separated from New Guinea by a narrow strait. Its shores are hitherto but little known, since after one voyage and another, that route has been deserted, and seldom is the country visited unless when sailors are driven there by storms.
Page 248 - ... you are to proceed in search of it to the westward, between the latitude before mentioned and the latitude of 35...
Page 242 - The Isle of Pines: or, a late Discovery of a fourth Island in Terra Australis, Incognita. Being a true Relation of certain English persons, who in the dayes of Queen Elizabeth, making a Voyage to the East India, were cast away, and wracked upon the Island...
Page 249 - America; and as to a Southern Continent, I do not believe any such thing exists, unless in a high latitude. But as the contrary opinion hath for many years prevailed, and may yet prevail, it is necessary I should say something in support of mine more than what will be directly pointed out by the track of this ship in those seas; for from that alone it will evidently appear...
Page 252 - To return by the way of Cape Horn was what I most wished, because by this rout we should have been able to prove the Existance or NonExistance of a Southern Continent, which yet remains Doubtfull; but in order to Ascertain this we must have kept in a higher Latitude in the very Depth of Winter, but the Condition of the Ship, in every respect, was not thought sufficient for such an undertaking.
Page 252 - Latitude in the very Depth of Winter, but the Condition of the Ship, in every respect, was not thought sufficient for such an undertaking. For the same reason the thoughts of proceeding directly to the Cape of Good Hope was laid aside, especially as no discovery of any Moment could be hoped for in that rout.

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About the author (1999)

Miriam Estensen was born in Chicago but has spent much of her life travelling, to many of the places which feature in Discovery. She was raised in Europe-mostly Spain and Sweden-and in the Philippines. After completing her education in California she lived in the US Virgin Islands. Today she lives with her husband, a retired sea captain, on the Gold Coast in Australia. She is writing a biography of another great traveller, Matthew Flinders.

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