Poetry Madness

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft

I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
  1. $9.07 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Australia- General

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

(tracking the Australian adventures of my intrepid Victorian ancestors )
Thomson, Alice
New York :
Description and travel
Australia/Oceania - Australia
Essays & Travelogues
Travelers' writings
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Trade Cloth
292 p.
8.56x5.88x1.15 in. 1.00 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Explorers Used Trade Paper $8.00
  2. The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping... Used Hardcover $8.95
  3. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  4. Cest La Vie an American Woman Begins A
    Used Trade Paper $5.95
  5. 12,000 Miles in the Nick of Time: A... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  6. The Songlines
    Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Australia » General

The Singing Line: Tracking the Australian Adventures of My Intrepid Victorian Ancestors Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 292 p. pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385490597 Reviews:
  • 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.