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The Singing Line

Alice Thomson


This work charts the author's journey in the footsteps of her great-great grandfather, Charles Heavitree Todd, the man who strung the telegraph across Australia. It brings together a mix of family history and exploration with a young couple's trek, as they follow the same line 150 years later.
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"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

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.
More Information
Book publisherVintage Publishing
Publication date2 Jun 2000
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