The Singing Line

The Singing Line

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The story of the man who strung the telegraph across Australia, and the woman who gave her name to Alice Springs. In 1855 an impoverished young scientist from Greenwich told his guardian that he was off 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. For Charles Todd was following a dream - the near impossible task of stringing a telegraph wire across one of the last uncrossed colonial wilderness, and finally connecting Australia with Britain. In 1997, their great-great-granddaughter Alice followed in their 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 400 men.One lent me his copy of a four-wheel-drive magazine, and warned me never to leave the car if I broke down a€“ that way we might at least be spotted from the air before we died of thirst. Most Australians, he explained, clung to the coast and wouldna#39;t understand why we wanted to get lost in the interior for the ... I found his instructions to the overseers mixed in with a batch of 1960s guides to Alice Springs.

Title:The Singing Line
Author:Alice Thomson
Publisher:Random House - 2012-06-30


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