Start reading The Great Race on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Great Race: The Race Between the English and the French to Complete the Map of Australia
 
 

The Great Race: The Race Between the English and the French to Complete the Map of Australia [Kindle Edition]

David Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £25.00
Kindle Price: £12.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £12.01 (48%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £12.99  
Hardcover £17.00  
Paperback --  
Audio Download, Unabridged £20.65 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.


Product Description

Review

An epic tale told concisely and confidently by Hill (The Times)

Book Description

The thrilling race between Frenchman Nicolas Baudin and Englishman Matthew Flinders to chart the map of Australia.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4762 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (3 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IA2E67S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating subject but in need of a good editor, this is too long, often bewildering and geographically vague or inaccurate, (Weipa is not on the eastern coast of Australia's Cape York peninsula but the western one. Which hardly inspires confidence at the beginning of a book on exploration and mapping.)

Places such as Adventure Bay pop up with no real context or reason and are never heard of again. Or are not given their modern names or easier identifiers (such as might be achieved by telling us that "Bay of Inlets" is modern Shoalwater Bay) . Flinders and Bass sail off from Sydney in search of a possible strait (later given Bass's name) between Australia and Tasmania and are suddenly inexplicably we realise in Tasmania (a sentence saying why they didn't just follow the mainland coast round through the strait would doubtless have made much clear.) Some people are described as "taking" a boat when it is important to understand (though it never becomes totally clear) that they are stealing it. Episodes get repeated in a sometimes confusing chronology.

There is massive pointless sloppiness. Spencer Gulf is said to be named in 1802 after Princess Diana's "great grandfather" the 2nd Earl Spencer. Some schoolboy spottable mistake here surely, given that Diana's birth was then another 159 years in the future (so yes, her great grandfather turns out to be "only" the 6th Earl, so the 2nd Earl had a lot more "greats" to his name than that). Does this matter? Probably not (so why include her in the first place?) but obvious blunders like this do make you wonder about the rest of the book.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
By ford
Format:Hardcover
Very readable but agree with other reviewer regarding the factual sloppiness.

He states for example the one of the artists leaving on Flinders voyage of 1802 was the half brother of Princess Victoria painting teacher. She wasn't even born until 1819. (Page 160 )

So a readable yarn but factually fallible.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story of the European discovery of Australia 12 Jan 2013
By Colin Pettit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful story that delves into the lives of those intrepid souls that set out on the mammoth task to sail and map the coastline of Australia.
This was an extraordinarily difficult task and many lives were lost before the new found knowledge was able to be carried back to Europe. Even war between England & France did not prevent the free exchange of knowledge about New Holland between these rivals.
I see parallels in this story with contemporary efforts to land humans on the Moon, with a major difference being that the Moon, to date, has not been colonised.
Successful Australian coastline navigators had the challenge of disease, shipwreck, and the limits of technology to deal with and those that were able to manage these challenges were rewarded handsomely with grants of land in the new colony or commercial success as an author.
This book has deepened my knowledge of the European discovery of Australia and I found the story of Flinders missing some major East Coast rivers on his first journey north of Port Jackson to be particularly poignant. I'm sure he would have been mightily embarrassed once they were found.
Another story I found fascinating was the prediction, by experienced sailors, of the existence of Bass Strait due to tidal movements in the area. Once confirmed this provided ships a faster route to Port Jackson.
I haven't finished this engaging story as yet (I'm about 40% through) however, I can tell this will be a book I will refer to for the rest of my life. It is fascinating.
Congratulations to David Hill, he has thoroughly researched and authored a book which has all the elements of high adventure, scientific discovery and sheer guts. All that was needed to settle the harsh and unforgiving land of Australia.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `On the afternoon of 8 April 1802, in a remote part of the Southern Ocean where no ship had ever sailed before, .. 5 Jan 2013
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
.. two explorers had a chance encounter.'

Those two explorers were Frenchman Nicolas Tomas Baudin, on `Le Geographe', and Englishman Matthew Flinders on `Investigator'. Baudin and Flinders had been sent by their respective governments to explore the uncharted coastal areas of Australia. They had also been requested to ascertain whether the west and east coast of Australia were separated by sea, or were part of a single land mass.

While the stated focus of this book is on the `race between the English and the French to complete the map of Australia', a number of the early chapters cover the story of the European discovery (by the Dutch, English, French, Portugese and Spanish) of Australia through planned expeditions and accidental journeys. While this information - as well as a chapter on the early British settlement of Australia - provide a useful summary, it is not all directly relevant to `The Great Race'.

Nicolas Baudin's was primarily a scientific expedition, and his two ships (Le Geographe and Le Naturaliste) set sail with a scientific team of 23. Despite a number of drawbacks and challenges including the death of Baudin in 1803, the French ultimately published the first complete coastal map of Australia in 1811. Matthew Flinders published his version three years later and, because of the British victory at Waterloo, it is Flinders's achievements many of us think of first.

`I call the whole island Australia or Terra Australis.' (Matthew Flinders- 1804)

Matthew Flinders was first shipwrecked and later imprisoned on The Isle de France (Mauritius) for over six years. By the time he returned to England, he had not seen his wife for more than nine years.

If you are unfamiliar with the story of the European discovery of Australia, this would be a useful introduction. Mr Hill has included an excellent bibliography for those who want to read further. I learned quite a bit about Baudin's expedition from this book, and the account of Matthew Flinders (and Trim the cat) reinforced Flinders's position as one of the 19th century explorers I most admire.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject but in need of a good editor 26 Aug 2014
By marko uk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Fascinating subject but in need of a good editor, this is too long, often bewildering and geographically vague or inaccurate, (Weipa is not on the eastern coast of Australia's Cape York peninsula but the western one. Which hardly inspires confidence at the beginning of a book on exploration and mapping.)

Places such as Adventure Bay pop up with no real context or reason and are never heard of again. Or are not given their modern names or easier identifiers (such as might be achieved by telling us that "Bay of Inlets" is modern Shoalwater Bay) . Flinders and Bass sail off from Sydney in search of a possible strait (later given Bass's name) between Australia and Tasmania and are suddenly inexplicably we realise in Tasmania (a sentence saying why they didn't just follow the mainland coast round through the strait would doubtless have made much clear.) Some people are described as "taking" a boat when it is important to understand (though it never becomes totally clear) that they are stealing it. Episodes get repeated in a sometimes confusing chronology.

There is massive pointless sloppiness. Spencer Gulf is said to be named in 1802 after Princess Diana's "great grandfather" the 2nd Earl Spencer. Some schoolboy spottable mistake here surely, given that Diana's birth was then another 159 years in the future (so yes, her great grandfather turns out to be "only" the 6th Earl, so the 2nd Earl had a lot more "greats" to his name than that). Does this matter? Probably not (so why include her in the first place?) but obvious blunders like this do make you wonder about the rest of the book.

Tedious often seemingly endlessly rambling pages are padded (the only word) with the preparations in Europe for voyages and for even less obvious reasons the backgrounds and private lives of all concerned. I have given up a third of the way through. Maybe it gets better, but I've tired of hoping so. Reduce its length, add a few linking and explanatory thoughts and clarify the geography would be my advice. Plus easier to read maps, at least in the Kindle edition. And then you'll have a pretty good book.

PS. I later went back to this book after writing the above and things picked up shortly after in the matter of describing the mapping of Australia. I have accordingly increased the star rating from two to three. But the infuriating sloppiness in the book's own cartography persists.

There is, for instance, a major episode in which Flinders gets wrecked with two ships. Where? Good basic question. The book scarcely gives a clue. It is clearly off the East Coast of Australia, but where, and at what distance from the shore (since no mention is made of the shore)?

The nearest to any precision comes only at the end of this long episode when mention is made of it being on Wreck Reef. But where on earth is that? Nothing here tells us, neither is it, nor any clue as to the wreck's location, shown on the book's maps (which turn out to be somewhat clearer on my laptop than on my Kindle).

10 minutes' Googling suggests that it is Porpoise Cay in the Wreck Reefs some 230 nautical miles off the present day town of Gladstone. But there is nothing in the book that tells you this. Nothing. I find it breath-taking, insulting even, that the location is regarded as not worth pinpointing for the benefit of those who have bought a book on the mapping of Australia.
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but never dull 26 Oct 2013
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Every Aussie knows something about Matthew Flinders but this book gives a brisk but detailed account of his circumnavigation of the continent and of his subsequent imprisonment on Mauritius
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating to discover 7 Oct 2013
By Morticia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great read. Well researched and extremely interesting. How little we know of Australia and the bravery of the men who mapped it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category