An Island Unto Itself
by Leslie R. Marchant
ISBN 0 85905 120 X, (1988 new), Soft Cover, 152mm x 223mm, 224pp, illustrated, 460grams
$30.00 + POST
Based on research findings and the results of maritime expeditions conducted by the author, this book provides a comprehensive account of Dampier's scientific explorations in New Holland during the English Restoration and Revolutionary periods, when English sciences advanced with the then newly-established Royal Society.
New Holland, at that time, was a unique place offering explorers unique opportunities. The rest of the New World in the Americas, Africa and Asia was discovered before New Holland, and was colonised and otherwise affected by Europe. New Holland remained an island unto itself, offering unique opportunities for scientists to study unspoilt natural histories and environments.
This book describes how Dampier did this, paving the way for the great explorers who followed to reveal the secrets of the fifth continent before it was settled. Professor Marchant spent many years in the United Kingdom and Europe, locating and reading archival material, including records about William Dampier. After reading records in France that revealed the importance with which William Dampier was viewed on the continent of Europe during the Enlightenment, Professor Marchant conducted a series of expeditions in the wake of William Dampier in New Holland, in order to write a new evaluation of his work.
Leslie R. Marchant is the Director of Centre for the Study of the South Land; Visiting Professor University of Notre Dame, Australia; and Resident Scholar, State Library of Western Australia (LISWA). He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.