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Tietkins – Explorer and Pioneer

$30.00

At the time of his death in 1933 at the age of 89 years, William Harry Tietkens was described as ‘probably the last of the old school of Australian explorers’.

It was high praise for one who had arrived in Australia as a 15 year old boy and then abandoned by his guardian on the goldfields of Victoria to fend for himself.

The comment placed him up with exploring luminaries such as Stuart, and many others who conducted explorations in the late 1800s. It was high praise indeed for a man who is virtually unknown to many readers of Australian history.

Perhaps this was because on two occasions he was second in charge of major expeditions led by a better known explorer (Emest Giles) and, as is common in such circumstances, all fame is credited to the person in charge.

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Description

This book encapsulates some of the events of this era and at the same time highlights the life and achievements of William Harry Tietkens, Explorer and Pioneer. In examining the life of Tietkens, author Neville Collins includes interesting incidents and events which should appeal to those interested in Australian history, exploration and the outback.

At the time of his death in 1933 at the age of 89 years, William Harry Tietkens was described as ‘probably the last of the old school of Australian explorers’.

It was high praise for one who had arrived in Australia as a 15 year old boy and then abandoned by his guardian on the goldfields of Victoria to fend for himself.

The comment placed him up with exploring luminaries such as Stuart, and many others who conducted explorations in the late 1800s. It was high praise indeed for a man who is virtually unknown to many readers of Australian history.

Perhaps this was because on two occasions he was second in charge of major expeditions led by a better known explorer (Ernest Giles) and, as is common in such circumstances, all fame is credited to the person in charge.

However, an examination of the life of Tietkens reveals that not only did he lead an expedition to Central Australia on his own account, but he was also a pioneer in the West Darling district of New South Wales and also on the Nullarbor Plain, in the far west of South Australia, where he made an attempt to open up this vast area for pastoral pursuits.

In the years before and after his exploration and pioneering efforts he was variously engaged as a surveyor, prospector, station hand, Conditional Purchase Inspector (N.S.W.), lecturer and author.

All the above seemed light years away from when he arrived in Australia as a small slightly built 15 year old youth and was forced by circumstances to engage in menial pursuits to survive. This aspect is in itself interesting as it gives an insight into the hardships of Australian life at that time.

Tietkens was a generous contributor to Geographical Societies and similar bodies extolling the attributes of the vast interior of Australia. His papers, including his reminiscences, held principally at the State Library of South Australia and the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, are a valuable resource for those interested in researching the period before and at the turn of the 19th Century.

 

Additional information

Weight .465 kg
Dimensions 17.0 × 24.0 × 1.0 cm

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