Hi folks – Big News!
“Eyre” is a sort of a sequel to my last book, on his famous older friend Charles Sturt. Thousands of hours of dry research went into each book, to re-create their lively adventures in an accurate, authentic but readable way. It was short-listed for the Colin Roderick Award as in the top eight Australian books, any genre, in its year of publication.
It is now available in Australia in Hardback and Paperback, also as a Kindle or ebook – and is also on the shelves in the UK! Go to the drop downs above to discover snippets of extra material on people, places and events additional to what you have found in the book.
Eyre – The Forgotten Explorer
Imagine yourself as the Aboriginal warrior named Pulcanta who had been captured during a bloody skirmish with colonials. You are being carted to Adelaide by the victors, who have manacled you. There is no time to mourn the friends and relatives you lost during the battle: your yearning to be free is what consumes you now. The cart’s wheels squeal as it lumbers along the cliff top high above the lazy Murray River. Without warning, the longing to escape overpowers your logic and you leap from the cart, tumbling through the air and crashing down into the water far below.
Shocked policemen grabbed their carbines and a hail of lead poured down after Pulcanta as he struggled in the water, wounding him in three places. He made it to some reeds and might have escaped detection if only an indigenous female had not pointed out his position to the searching whites. Her betrayal might however have saved his life, because he was bandaged up and placed back in the dray before being taken to Adelaide, where against all expectations he recovered.
This incident involving Pulcanta was described independently by Captain Sturt, and by Daniel Brock in his expedition diary. I read their accounts while doing research for my earlier book Sturt’s Desert Drama. What intrigued me most was that Pulcanta declared to Sturt, Brock and others that Edward John Eyre had been the individual who had caused him to love the white man! How had Eyre wrought such an amazing change of attitude in a man that Sturt described as the most fearsome-looking warrior he had ever seen? This mystery stayed with me, and once Sturt’s Desert Drama had been published, I began researching everything I could pertaining to his friend Eyre to find the answers. After all, relationships between indigenous Australians and other Australians remain troubled to this day. Might we learn some principles about how to bridge the relational gulf by studying Eyre’s life and worldview?
I was in for a great many surprises, some of which have now been described in my book Eyre – The Forgotten Explorer (2013). Other revelations can be found in the additional material available here on my website, that could not be included for reasons of space in my published book.
Incidentally, I, the author, have personally stood on those Murray River cliff tops and have stared in wonder at the mighty waters swirling past a very long way below, marvelling that a prisoner in irons could bring himself to leap from that height regardless of how desperate he felt.
The extra material accessible from this page is additional to what is in the book, but pertains to the people and events found in it. The book stands alone as a biographical account of one of Australia’s greatest heroic figures. This extra material helps to flesh out his life and times even further.