Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | December 5, 2014

    William Gibson: IMG William Gibson: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

This title in other editions

The Singing Line: Tracking the Australian Adventures of My Intrepid Victorian Ancestors

The Singing Line: Tracking the Australian Adventures of My Intrepid Victorian Ancestors Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A charming true-life romantic adventure about a pair of young British couples--one hundred fifty years apart--braving the exotic rigors of the Australian Outback

The Singing Line is a wondrous narrative that combines the historical adventure of Longitude or Endurance with the keen insights and rambling rhythms of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence.

One hundred sixty years ago, Charles Todd, an impecunious astronomer's assistant, was sitting in his prosperous relatives' drawing room in Oxford, England, telling them of his dreams. He wished to go to South Australia and seek his fortune in the wild colony as Government Astronomer and Superintendent of Telegraphs. What he did not mention was that he also intended to string a telegraph wire--"the singing line"--across the brutal Australian Outback, which no human had ever even crossed before. Charles despaired of only one thing: finding a wife willing to brave such hardship with him. Suddenly, twelve-year-old Alice, hiding beneath the chaise longue, piped up: "I will marry you, Mr. Todd, if no one else will." And seven years later, so she did.

Alice Thomson, a young, successful British journalist, decided to trace the paths taken by Charles and Alice Todd, her great-great-grandparents. These two intrepid souls had left the comforts of Victorian England to settle in South Australia, the most remote part of the British Empire in the 1840s. Charles's quest to connect the desolate continent with the rest of the world by stringing telegraph wire from south to north was an almost unimaginably difficult feat. Even today the journey is something of an ordeal, as Alice Thomson and her bemused and long-suffering husband, Edward, learned.

Thomson spins the fascinating tale of the Todds' adventures Down Under with wit and grace. Charles did in fact succeed in laying his "singing line" across the Outback, an astonishing feat requiring the peculiarly Victorian virtue of pluck. Alice, from a comfortable home, suddenly had to adapt to the life of a frontier wife in the oddest and most isolated place imaginable. Charles's implacable derring-do--his many expeditions and near-disasters--and Alice's equally brave attempts to re-create a proper British life in a land of dust, flies, kangaroos, and emus make for a tale equal parts charm and excitement.

About the Author

Alice Thomson is associate editor, columnist, and interviewer for the Daily Telegraph. Born in 1967, she is also restaurant critic for The Spectator. She was named Alice after her great-great-grandmother Alice Todd, for whom Alice Springs, Australia, is also named.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385490597
Subtitle:
(tracking the Australian adventures of my intrepid Victorian ancestors )
Author:
Thomson, Alice
Publisher:
Doubleday
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Description and travel
Subject:
Australia/Oceania - Australia
Subject:
Australia
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Travelers
Subject:
Travelers' writings
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
101-180
Publication Date:
1999
Binding:
Trade Cloth
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
292 p.
Dimensions:
8.56x5.88x1.15 in. 1.00 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Australia » General

The Singing Line: Tracking the Australian Adventures of My Intrepid Victorian Ancestors
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 292 p. pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385490597 Reviews:
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.