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lt was the greatest expedition of its time.
In 1860 Robert O'Hara Burke, accompanied by William Wills and a party of explorers, set out to cross Australia from south to north. A few months later a tree bore a strange carving: Dig Under 3ft NW.
Burke, Wills and five other men were dead.
How did a man notorious for getting lost on the way home from the pub come to lead an expedition into the desert’s dead heart? What went wrong?
Dig 3ft NW is an abridged version of The Dig Tree, Sarah Murgatroyd’s utterly compelling account of Burke and Wills’ journey into the great unknown.
’The Dig Tree, the story of Burke and Wills and their tragic attempt to cross Australia, was a bestseller when it appeared in 2002. Sadly the English journalist Sarah Murgatroyd, who wrote the book and found a way to make Australian history exciting and engrossing, died from cancer shortly after the book was published. Now Text Publishing has had the original text edited and simplified specifically for teenagers. It is an inspired idea. During her lifetime, Murgatroyd was feted as a gifted storyteller and certainly this abridged version of her book rattles along at a brisk pace. She had an astute eye for the absurd and the incongruous and this imbues the story with humanity and pathos.
‘The basic tale of the race to cross the continent, Victoria’s gold-rush hubris, the inexperience of Burke and Wills, Burke’s perversity and the tragedy at the Dig Tree is told in a way that even the most hardened Harry Potter reader will find appealing.’
‘It’s perfect for history teachers who want a narrative that will draw students in and fuel an interest in Australian history.’
‘Told in clear, simple language, this abridged version of The Dig Tree is a history book which is scholarly and entertaining.’