Professor Ernest Scott's biography of the illustrious navigator Matthew Flinders was first published in 1914 to mark and honour the centenary of Flinders' death. This revised edition is timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the commencement of his voyage on the "Investigator", which resulted in the first recorded circumnavigation of the Australian continent.
The life of Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) - from his youth in Lincolnshire to his early years in the Royal Navy, his voyage under Bligh, his arrival in Port Jackson, his partnership in exploration with George Bass, his marriage, the subsequent voyages of discovery, his tragically prolonged detention on Mauritius, his return to England and his untimely death at the age of 40 - is examined in detail in this informative, entertaining and at times moving narrative.
Scott's discursive, whimsical style reveals a biographer enamoured of manly endeavour and the pursuit of "scientific discovery", and while modern readers will perhaps find the prejudices of his age a little remote from those of ours today, he has brought to his work an enthusiasm, diligence, critical rigour, even-handedness and humanity that is immediately apparent and to which one readily responds.
This revised edition, with an Introduction by Professor Stuart Macintyre, allows us to revisit the life of Matthew Flinders - a navigator described by Scott as "a true grandson of Cook", whose reputation as and explorer has for too long been overshadowed by the exploits of his more famous nautical forebear.