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Rigby, Adelaide, South Australia. 1980 1st edition. From the time of its discovery by Dutch sailors in the early seventeenth century, West Australia's rugged and often barren coast has gained an awesome reputation. 'It is a forbidding, barren land' wrote William Dampier in 1699. And its inhabitants he described as 'the miserablest people on earth'. 'What a frightful abode,' shuddered a member of Nicolas Baudin's expedition in 1803. Time has given the lie to such comments, and today the west coast is seen for what it is: one of the richest parts of the continent. Over the years the sources of its wealth have changed. During the last century it was renowned for wool and gold, and above all for the pearls that were harvested by fleets of luggers sailing from towns like Denham and Broome. Illustrated dust jacket over orange cloth covered end boards. Near fine condition. 192pp. 220 x 140 mm