Michael Cathcart has published a new book “Starvation in a Land of Plenty” based on the diary of William Wills. Read more here.
The title of the book raises a question: is dying of vitamin deficiency the same as dying from starvation? Evidence produced for the mock Coronial Enquiry in 2012 suggested that was a vitamin deficiency rather than a shortage of food that was the cause of the deaths of Burke and Wills. Describing the outback as a Land of Plenty is also somewhat generous. Aboriginal tribes had to work hard as hunter-gatherers to subsist. There is evidence that they resented the presence of explorers, particularly Wright’s Supply Party, at outback waterholes, where they were competing with the local Aborigines for limited resources of food and water.