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The Mahogany Ship - cover

The Mahogany Ship

John Egan

Publisher: Ginninderra Press

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Summary

In 1755, the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake and the resulting tsunamis, and by fire. Perhaps 90,000 people died and 85% of buildings were shattered, including the Royal Ribeiro Palace, home to the archives of all Portuguese exploration in and around the East Indies, including the voyages of Vasco da Gama. All records were lost. Did the Portuguese send voyages of exploration, secretly, across the treaty line of Tordesillas, that divided the Spanish and Portuguese hemispheres? Did they explore and map the east coast of Australia 250 years before Cook's first voyage? Was the Mahogany Ship, first sighted in 1836, half-buried in sand dunes in the south-east of Victoria, the wreck of a Portuguese caravel? Who built the solid stone foundations of a structure on the south coast of NSW, and who lost the archaic set of keys unearthed near Geelong in 1847? Where did Mendonça's expedition of 1521 sail and when, if ever, did it return? If such a voyage ever occurred, was it like this?

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