These are our Australian selections for History & Geography for Ambleside Year 9. I’ll do a separate post which will include selections that are not just about our part of the world.
Term 1: 1688-1730
The Buccaneer Explorer: William Dampier’s voyages edited and with an introduction by Gerald Norris. (328 pages)
This is a combination of autobiography and voyages written in the first person, singular, by Dampier himself and with separate comment sections from Norris to give background context.
This summary is from the book jacket:
“William Dampier (1652-1715) is the most remarkable seaman that England produced in the century and a half between Drake and Captain Cook. They each circumnavigated the world once; Dampier did so three times. A good seaman, but a bad commander, he spent most of his life as a privateer, buccaneer, or pirate, and his career culminated in the capture of the great treasure galleon sent each year from the New World to Spain. He was also a great writer, author of the first major English travel book, A New Voyage Round the World, and of scientific treatises and descriptions of natural history.
His expedition to Australia was in many ways disastrous, with his ships being lost; but the book that came out of it, A Voyage to New Holland, is rich in evocative accounts of the peoples and places he had found or visited. He was not afraid to record things he could not explain, for ‘better qualified persons who shall come after me’, and his books were reference works used extensively not only by subsequent voyagers but by modern scientists who continue to cite his observations. This edited account of his voyages gives an admirable picture of this fascinating and unorthodox figure in his own words.”
We’re using the above book for History, Geography and Biography.
If you just wanted to use Dampier’s writings for Geography,
a free PDF download of Dampier’s account of his voyage to Australia can be found here.
Some free online books about Dampier:
William Dampier by W. Clark Russell – 192 pages. 7 Chapters – written in 1894
Early Australian Voyages by John Pinkerton which also includes two other explorers, Francis Pelsaert and Abel Tasman, 192 pages, written in 1893
Early English Voyagers which has a section on Dampier (pages 261 – 458).
Interesting information about William Dampier
Term 2: 1730-1786
This will cover Geography and Natural History/Science as well as History.
The Life of Laperouse by Ernest Scott is available for free here. It is only 64 pages. A French navigator sent by King Louis XVI of France (the one who lost his head) on a scientific expedition of the Pacific, Laperouse (1741 – 1788) disappeared after leaving Botany Bay. A suburb of Sydney is named after him.
Captain James Cook (1728 – 1779)
A definitive biography of James Cook is J.C.Beaglehole’s, The Life of Captain James Cook; 772 pages, very detailed. Beaglehole was a New Zealand historian who died in 1971.
Essays written by Beaglehole on Captain Cook might be an option.
The Cannibal Islands by R.M. Ballantyne is a story of Cook.
Sir Ernest Scott (1867-1939) an Australian historian wrote The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders.
You can download the free Kindle version; 460 pages.
Another biography of Flinders is by Miriam Estenson that may be worth a look:
‘The Life of Matthew Flinders is a story of persistence and audacious risk-taking, driving ambition and frustration, obstinate determination and doubt. It is a richly detailed account of tragedy and short-lived triumph, of exile on an enemy island, of love thwarted and a painful early death. It is also the story of a man who became one of the great navigators of the nineteenth century, an adventurer who left an indelible mark on a continent and a nation.’
A Short History of Australia by Ernest Scott – 346 pages and 30 chapters is a book I’ll use as a spine for this year.
Chapters 1 – 8 (up to “Extension of Settlement”) looks like it would fit the time period. So that’s 98 pages for the whole year.
Edited to add:
The Captain Cook Society has a website with some helpful bits & pieces.