Crawford House Publishing
New Guinea The Last Unknown

This beautifully reproduced, critically acclaimed book, originally published in 1963, was the first to tell the story of New Guinea as a whole: from Papua to West Irian, from the earliest recorded impressions of European voyages to the patrols of the early 1960s.

Other books dealt separately with the British, Australian, German and Dutch experiences in New Guinea; The Last Unknown set them all in perspective, giving a blanced and lively account of the peoples, policies and exploits that made the island what it is today. The story is largely one of exploration: of deep and sometimes disastrous thrusts into a fiercely beautiful land of tropical rivers and high snowcaps, of rainforests vibrant with brightly coloured birds, and of high plateaus chequered with farmlands; of encounters with a varied and unpredictable native population, many of whom were headhunters. It too more than eighty years and the efforts of many remarkable men to open this strange land to the eyes of the world.

Writing with discipline, judgement, and a rare sense of character and scene, Gavin Souter brings this complex of activity into clear and revealing focus. His pages abound with living pictures of adventurers, administrators, prospectors, patrol officers and missionaries. He presents in sharp outline the political background against which these people played their parts, and offers shrewd appraisals of the Australian and Dutch administrative performances.

Handsomely illustrated and with a detailed introduction by Chris Ballard to bring the book, and the work of Gavin Souter, into its modern context The Last Unknown is an absorbing story and an invaluable contribution to Pacific history.


Gavin Souter






58 black-and-white photographs; maps


Portrait; hardcover; xvi + 312 pages


234 x 153 mm



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