Ludwig Leichhardt is chiefly known as the most important of the scientific explorers of Australia. His lively but detailed letters provide a narrative of his life from his student days in the mid-1830s until 1848 when he disappeared in the Australian interior. Leichhardt's main interest was natural philosophy, particularly biology, geology and geography, but as a scholar of nature in the widest sense, he closely observed and recorded many aspects of the surrounding world, describing social life in early Victorian England and commenting on some of the leading teachers and philosophers of the day. However, the primary purpose of his studies in German, England, Paris and Naples was to equip himself as a scientific explorer. The idea of exploring Australia was evolved and closely planned with his great friend William Nicholson. Leichhardt sailed for Australia in 1841. Volume 2 of this work describes his scientific reconnaissance in eastern Australia, undertaken alone during 2 years. The final volume is concerned with his major explorations: the successful expedition to Port Essington in northern Australia, during which he investigated the topography, geology and botany of the country, and his last two attempts to cross the continent from East to West. His last party disappeared without trace in 1848. Mr Aurousseau has collected together all Leichhardt's known letters, and translated those written in German, French or Italian. He provides a brief account of Leichhardt's life, a chronology of his movements and a bibliography of works relating to him. Leichhardt has been the object of much ill-informed criticism, and the editor's main purpose is to establish an authentic text, enabling the man to speak for himself. These letters also prepare the way for the publication of Leichhardt's journal. Full texts of all letters, together with translations of those in German, French and Italian. This volume contains the letters written while in Germany, 1832-7, and between 1837 and Leichardt's departure for Sydney in 1841. Continued in the following volumes (Second Series 134, 135), with which the main pagination is continuous. This is a new print-on-demand hardback edition of the volume first published in 1968.
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