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A Most Surprising Man

A Most Surprising Man

The Life of Victor Marra Newland

By Mary Anne Fitzgerald

Hardback | ISBN 9781743057544

Regular price $45.00 AUD
Regular price Sale price $45.00 AUD
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Victor Marra Newland, OBE, MC, DCM - hunter, soldier and entrepreneur - was descended from Australian pioneers. In 1838 his English grandfather the Rev'd Ridgway Newland landed in the new colony of South Australia. His father Simpson Newland opened up the New South Wales outback with sheep stations on the Darling and Paroo rivers. At the dawn of the 20th century, with Australia's unknown frontiers already claimed, Marra looked to Africa to make his fortune. In 1904 he started British East Africa's first safari company in partnership with another Australian, Leslie Tarlton. Along the way he fought in the Boer War and later in the East Africa campaign in World War One.

Marra settled in Nairobi when it was a railway staging post where drunks who staggered home in the dark were liable to be eaten by a lion. There were no rules, no safety nets and tantalising possibilities. Newland, Tarlton and Co. acted as land, stock and auctioneering agents as well as outfitting and guiding visiting sportsmen. British aristocrats, European royalty and American moguls set out on foot and horseback into the wilds in pursuit of big game trophies. The American president Teddy Roosevelt was accompanied by an entourage of 200 porters, gunbearers, camp staff and grooms.

Marra's tales of shipwrecks, charging rhino, hunting elephant for their ivory and the settlers' increasingly frustrated attempts to stake land claims make for fascinating and well-paced tales. This book vividly sketches a portrait of a country in the making and the man who embraced and was transformed by his adopted land.


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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781743057544
Publish/Release date:
Publisher: Wakefield Press
Number of pages: 288
Width (mm): 156
Height (mm): 234
Depth (mm):

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