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Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia : Performed Under the Authority of Her Majesty's Government, During the Years 1844, 5, and 6, ... of the Province of South Australia in 1847 Paperback – March 7, 2016
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As you might expect given the time period and the circumstances, Sturt is dry, formal and earnest. But once you get used to that style you realize that there is grit, humor, ambition and similar good stuff underlying that style. You don't explore the Australian interior if you're just a stuffed shirt or blowhard. This isn't "ripping" action-every-moment adventure, but rather a thorough and thoughtful accounting of a real and substantial undertaking. A brief browse will still be rewarded, but patient reading will be rewarded manyfold.
Apart from recognized classics that you can find among public domain Kindle freebies, ("Moby Dick", and so on), the search for treats can be a bit daunting. Much of what's available is musty and dated, as you might surmise. But every now and then you turn up an unexpected or overlooked gem. That's what I found here. It is reasonably well formatted, and certainly readable, for such an old freebie.
To be fair, a lot of the expedition detail is a bit heavy going. But even if you are inclined just to browse/skim, there are lots of interesting factoids and adventure bits. A serious student of Australian history probably will have a copy of this book somewhere on his shelf. But for armchair travellers with even a passing interest in the region, or an interest in 19th century adventure writing, this book offers many pleasant rewards. A nice find.