In 1855 an impoverished young English scientist went to chance his luck in Australia - as Government Astronomer and superintendent of Telegraphs for the small colony of South Australia. With him went his young wife Alice - after whom Alice Springs would be named. Charles Todd was following a dream - the near impossible task of stringing a telegraph wire across the wilderneIn 1855 an impoverished young English scientist went to chance his luck in Australia - as Government Astronomer and superintendent of Telegraphs for the small colony of South Australia. With him went his young wife Alice - after whom Alice Springs would be named. Charles Todd was following a dream - the near impossible task of stringing a telegraph wire across the wilderness of the Australian outback. In 1997, Charles Todd's great-great-great-granddaughter, Alice, followed in his footsteps. Her plan was to track the telegraph - and her ancestors - from Adelaide over the thousands of miles of desert, outback, swamp and mountain that Charles Todd had crossed in the 1860s with his four hundred men....
|Title||:||The Singing Line|
|Number of Pages||:||292 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Singing Line Reviews
Marvelous fun. Trekking through the outback with Alice Thomson and her long-suffering husband Ed on the trail of Thomson's Australian great, great grandparents Charles and Alice Todd. Part travelog, part genealogical research with lots of insights into Australian's early colonial history and modern Aussie culture. Thomson is a British journalists whose grandparents made a reverse migration from Australia to England. She is named after her intrepid great, great grandmother and got bitten by the family history bug (something I well understand). Like all good family historians Thompson combines oral history and archival documents, letters and old photographs. Thompson's search was made easier (and more interesting) because Charles Todd played a major roll in one of colonial Australia's first engineering feats: stringing a telegraph wire from Adelaide, through the forbidding and uncharted Outback, all the way to Darwin on the jungle-filled North coast.Alice and Ed made the daft plan to follow the original route taken by Charles Todd and his team of engineers and explorers--a project announced in the local press with an article suitably titled Mad Dogs and Englishmen. They actually managed to do it--in two stages--and lived to tell the tale in this very entertaining book.
Part historical account, part travel memoir, this book examines the creation of a telegraph system that connected Australia to the rest of the world. Written by a journalist who also happens to be a descendant of the project lead, it highlights those who built the system and the obstacles they faced in so doing.The author and her husband drive across Australia's unforgiving interior to get a better feel for the pioneers' struggles and to gain insights from locals. Their own adventure is amusing, but the historical aspects are what make this book sing, so to speak.The men were ill-prepared for the outback, the women were left behind to care for their families, and there was precious little spirit of cooperation. Men bickered with one another, as did state and territorial governments. Given the natural and human-made obstructions, it's a miracle the project ever got completed.This is an enjoyable read that provides a window into a world scarcely imaginable. The tale is both revealing and well told.
This is the biographical story of Charles Todd, the man who successfully managed to connect Australia with other continents by taking the telegraph across its interior and Alice Todd his wife who gave her name to the famous Alice Springs. Written by Alice Thomson their great great granddaughter it is also partly a travel story as in 1997 she and her husband retrace the steps that the Todd’s had taken over a hundred years previously.She vividly describes the trials and tribulations of these Victorian explorer’s and those of her and her husband. In crossing some of the most isolated and hazardous terrain in the world, they discover that some parts of the Australian outback have changed little since Victorian times. Even with all modern day advantages to help them it was still not and easy task in modern times.It was an amazing feat that these pioneers achieved and Alice’s account made me realise just how much this was so!
I enjoyed the way the author took us on a journey in time. We learn about the characters and events which led to the construction of the overland telegraph through South Australia while at the same time (well alternate chapters) we revisit the track with the descendants of those courageous explorers in our time. Alice Thomson has an easy writing style which makes this book enjoyable and informative for those who want to learn more about the history of our state.
A history lesson told through the eyes of a descendant of those that created history. I thought it was a nice change to the normal history book about these subject; with this book being told in this fashion, you get the feeling that the history is still alive and belongs to the present as much as the past. I enjoyed reading it.
The story of Alice and Charles Todd who implemented the telgraphic system in Australia, intertwined with Alice and Eds story who retrod their footsteps in the 1990s. Incredible story, how hard the Todds life must have been and Alice (who Alice Springs was named after) was a real trouper.
Given to me by a friend just before I moved to Aussie, this book really whet my appetite for the country. Part travelogue-part family history - part pioneering history,it's a really entertaining way to find out about the early days of Australia.
gave up halfway got bored
Interesting story but heavy going writing style