Classic Australian Works
Charco Harbour is the story of Captain James Cook's first Pacific voyage in 1768, a journey into a world to which Europeans had never been and reported back before, a journey which leads to shipwreck at Charco (near what is now Cooktown in Queensland). At a time when Australia was still terra incognita, a man like Cook could be one of the world's great navigators, yet still full of human failings. This closely researched book is a warts and all portrait of the man who first mapped the great southern land.
Godfrey Blunden was born in Melbourne in 1906. A journalist for the Sydney Daily Telegraph, in 1942 he was sent to Europe to cover the war for Australian Consolidated Press. He spent several months in Russia, first in Moscow and then with the Red Army as it stopped the Germans at Stalingrad. That experience provided the basis for two post-war novels, A Room on the Route and The Time of the Assassins. Both were widely translated. He was in Paris for liberation and followed the Allied troops into Germany. After the war, he moved to the United States and started a family. He joined Time, staying for fourteen years, first as senior editor and then, in Paris, as foreign correspondent. He left in 1965 to concentrate on novels and non-fiction. He lived for some years in Paris where he died in 1996, a passionate Australian despite his years abroad.