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Pushing His Luck: Report of the Expedition and Death of Henry Whitcombe

ISBN: 9781877257889
Authors(s): Hilary Low Jakob Lauper

About Pushing His Luck: Report of the Expedition and Death of Henry Whitcombe:

In 1863 Henry Whitcombe, a young civil engineer and Canterbury's Provincial Road Surveyor, led an expedition to find a route across the Southern Alps in advance of the West Coast gold rushes. Jakob Lauper, a hardy Swiss goldminer, was hired to accompany him. The journey turned to tragedy. Dogged by appalling weather and half-starved, the two men traversed the Main Divide by a pass that now bears Whitcombe's name, and struggled down to the western beach. There the exhausted Whitcombe drowned while attempting to cross the flooded Taramakau River. Against extraordinary odds, Lauper survived and made his way back to Christchurch. His report on the expedition was translated into English and published in mid-1863. The story has inspired a number of writers to retell it, notably John Pascoe in 1960. Relying on the English translation, Pascoe was baffled by some apparent inconsistencies in Lauper's account. This prompted Hilary Low to go back to Lauper's report and begin a painstaking re-translation. It soon became appa. Pushing His Luck provides for the first time an accurate translation of Lauper's vivid account, and explains the significance of the new information brought to light. Nearly 150 years after the event, the truth about this journey - one of the enduring stories of early New Zealand exploration - is finally told.

No of pages: 144
Published as: Paperback
Genre: Regional History

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  • Seller location: Manukau City, Auckland, NZ

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