The Rattlesnake

The Rattlesnake

A Voyage of Discovery to the Coral Sea

Book - 2005
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The epic, beautifully-told story of a great nineteenth-century voyage of exploration, and of the ambitions and fears that propelled the pioneers during their four years on board.

Australia's spectacular Great Barrier Reef was a graveyard for shipping. HMS Rattlesnake, an ageing British warship, was commissioned in 1846 to survey this magnificent 'Coral Sea' and to produce the first detailed chart of the New Guinea coast. Every reef, every shoal, every rock hazard had to be located and mapped with extreme accuracy. At stake was the pre-eminence of British sea power - and the ambitions of those on board.

If all went well Stanley, the ship's brilliant captain, could expect a top job in the Admiralty; MacGillivray, the gifted naturalist, would be the world's expert on the fauna of Australia and the unknown New Guinea; and Huxley, the ambitious young surgeon, could abandon the dreary routine of the naval service for the excitement of the new world of science. But a series of highly dramatic events and encounters ensures that by the time the Rattlesnake finally returns to England, the glorious dreams of at least some of her crew have met with tragedy . . .

Publisher: London : Faber and Faber, 2005.
ISBN: 9780571210732
0571210732
Branch Call Number: 526.9 GOO
Characteristics: x, 357 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps, ports. ; 24 cm.

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