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Book Launch: On Hermit Hill, by Rod Tucker

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Mortlock Gallery, State Library of South Australia

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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You are invited to the launch of Rod Tucker's new book, On Hermit Hill: Benjamin Herschel Babbage and the Lake Torrens Myth.

About this Event

This book launch will be held in the historic Mortlock Chamber of the State Library of South Australia. Several artifacts from Babbage's 1858 expedition will be on display. Speakers will include Geoff Strempel, Director of the State Library, Colin Harris of the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, and Rod Tucker, the author. Paperback copies will be on sale and orders will be taken for hardback copies of the book. Light refreshments will be provided. This is a free event, but bookings are essential.

About the book

On Hermit Hill: Benjamin Herschel Babbage and the Lake Torrens Myth is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing. Benjamin Herschel Babbage was a South Australian engineer, surveyor and explorer. In 1858, he stood on Hermit Hill, near Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre (South), and recognised that there was a gap in a mythical horseshoe-shaped Lake Torrens that the explorer Edward John Eyre had conceived sixteen years earlier. Babbage’s discovery was a crucial step in opening northern South Australia to European settlement and paved the way for John McDouall Stuart’s crossing of the continent Babbage achieved much under arduous conditions, but the Adelaide newspaper accused him of slow progress, and the South Australian Government summarily dismissed him as expedition leader.

Tucker's book provides new perspectives on Babbage’s achievements and includes original maps, modern charts, and many sketches of Babbage's 1858 expedition by Babbage and his expedition botanist, David Herrgott. Also included are sketches by Babbage's son, Charley, and two unpublished watercolour landscapes by George Nason, a teamster on the expedition.

‘This is a carefully researched and finely crafted book which will be an important addition to our literature of the European exploration of inland Australia.’ — Colin Harris, Fellow and Past President of the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia.

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Date and Time

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Mortlock Gallery, State Library of South Australia

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

View Map

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