Review of Lawrence Fitzgerald, Java La Grande: The Portuguese Discovery of Australia, Hobart: The Publishers Pty Ltd, 1984
Richardson, W A R
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In this book Brigadier Fitzgerald summarises the arguments for and against the identification of the apparent continent of Jave-la-Grande as Australia, as provided by some, but by no means all of those who have written on the subject. Evidence is now available which authoritatively supports his outright dismissal of Kenneth McIntyre's widely accepted thesis regarding the imagined distortion of the east coast of 'Australia' on the Dieppe maps. The Brigadier does not really explain his reasons for this rejection, but by implication he obviously includes Kenneth McIntyre amongst those researchers who "were out of their depth in murky waters". It is difficult, however, to view his quoting of Professor Spate's observation regarding the futility of "any attempt to match each cape and bay with corresponding features on modern charts" as anything but a direct challenge, for in essence his book is precisely such an attempt.