Ludwig Leichhardt was one of the early explorers of the vast continent which would in time become Australia. Even as a child, Ludwig knew his life would not be a conventional one, that his destiny was awaiting him. He expressed his desire as: “I must work in a field that binds me totally to nature and enables me to realise a great plan.”
Leaving everything behind, including his close family, the young Leichhardt embarked alone for the colony of New South Wales in 1841. We follow his progress, setbacks, disputes and triumphs in his successful first expedition and his failed second expedition. Undaunted, Leichhardt hastily prepared for his third expedition which was incredibly ambitious: to cross the continent from east to west. Leichhardt, his men and animals disappeared in the desert, leaving barely a trace. It became one of the great unsolved mysteries of European settlement.
The author has taken a different approach to Leichhardt’s life story, believing that, to understand the man, we need to begin with Ludwig the boy growing up in a small German town. He has drawn heavily from original sources including Leichhardt’s own journals and letters and the accounts of his men.
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Ludwig Leichhardt: The Man. The Legend