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Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search For Human AntiquityArtist/Author: Taylor, Rebe
This book is a winner of multiple literary awards.
In 1908 English gentleman, Ernest Westlake, packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks he collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. Westlake believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But in the remotest corners of the island Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities.
Into the Heart of Tasmania tells a story of discovery and realisation. One man’s ambition to rewrite the history of human culture inspires an exploration of the controversy stirred by Tasmanian Aboriginal history. It brings to life how Australian and British national identities have been fashioned by shame and triumph over the supposed destruction of an entire race. To reveal the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania is to be confronted with a history that has never ended.
More Great Properties of Country Victoria: The Western District’s Golden AgeArtist/Author: Allen, Richard, Kimbal BakerReturn to the great mansions of the Western District with this book of remarkable histories and stunning photography
English novelist Anthony Trollope described the Western District squatters in the 1870s as ‘plentiful, proud, prejudiced, given to hospitality, impatient of contradiction … thoughtful on the future, and above all, conscious—perhaps a little too conscious—of their own importance … forty thousand sheep cannot be shorn without a piano; twenty thousand is the lowest number that renders napkins at dinner imperative’.
But these squatters were also speculators and investors, whose entrepreneuship built great wealth and elaborate mansions. Around their Georgian and Victorian homes they created an antipodean England, employing the best-known landscape architects of the day. The Western District today retains most of the renowned homesteads and gardens that date from these times.
This fascinating and beautiful book—sequel to the bestselling Great Properties of Country Victoria—takes us into the private world of thirteen more notable properties. Through their histories we follow their fortunes—extraordinary tales of risk and reward—and through the photographs see the splendour of great homes that have been lovingly maintained and carefully restored. It is a tribute to the past and present owners who have so painstakingly preserved their properties’ heritage.
Living with the Locals: Early Europeans’ Experience of Indigenous LifeArtist/Author: Maynard, John, Victoria Haskins
Living with the Locals comprises the stories of 13 white men, boys and women who were taken in by the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait islands and of eastern Australia and who lived in their communities between the 1790s and the 1870s, from a few months to over 30 years. The white people had been shipwrecked or had escaped the confines of penal servitude and survived only through the Indigenous people’s generosity. Many of them were given Indigenous names—Bunboé, Murrangurk, Duramboi, Waki, Giom, Anco. They assimilated to varying degrees into an Indigenous way of life—several marrying and learning the language—and, for the most part, both parties mourned the white people’s return to European life.
The stories in Living with the Locals provide a glimpse into Indigenous life at the point of early contact between Indigenous people and British colonists. It was a time when negative attitudes towards Indigenous people gave rise to misinterpretation of events and sensationalised versions of the stories. However, many of the white survivors spoke up against the appalling treatment of the Indigenous people, and advocated for conciliation and land rights. They also were unwilling to reveal Indigenous beliefs and customs to unsympathetic colonists.
The BushArtist/Author: Watson, Don
While most of us live in cities clinging to the coastal fringe, our sense of what an Australian is, or should be, is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by ‘the bush’, and how has it shaped us?
Starting with his forebears’ battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is – the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don’t.
A milestone work of memoir, travel writing and history, The Bush takes us on a profoundly revelatory and entertaining journey through the Australian landscape and character.
The Place for a Village: How Nature Has Shaped the City of MelbourneArtist/Author: Presland, Gary
Forgotten landscapes and erased eco-systems are brought to life by Gary Presland who so eloquently reconstructs Melbourne at the time of European settlement. He looks at the history of Melbourne from the point of view of nature and considers the ways that urban development has been influenced by the nature of local environments. Gary Presland shows how natural landscapes have influenced the contours of the city and how we, in turn, have altered them. He draws on both historical and scientific sources to create a detailed and fascinating picture of diverse landscapes, supporting an enormous range of flora and fauna.
Australian Bushrangers: 1788-1880Artist/Author: Knight, Ian (Author), Mark Stacey (Illustrator)
The first ‘bushrangers’ or frontier outlaws were escaped or time-expired convicts, who took to the wilderness ‘the bush’ in New South Wales and on the island of Tasmania. Initially, the only Crown forces available were redcoats from the small, scattered garrisons, but by 1825 the problem of outlawry led to the formation of the first Mounted Police from these soldiers.
The gold strikes of the 1860s attracted a new group of men who preferred to get rich by the gun rather than the shovel. The roads, and later railways, that linked the mines with the cities offered many tempting targets and were preyed upon by the bushrangers.
This 1860s generation boasted many famous outlaws who passed into legend for their boldness. The last outbreak came in Victoria in 1880, when the notorious Kelly Gang staged several hold-ups and deliberately ambushed the pursuing police. Their last stand at Glenrowan has become a legendary episode in Australian history. Fully illustrated with some rare period photographs, this is the fascinating story of Australia’s most infamous outlaws and the men tasked with tracking them down.
A History of TasmaniaArtist/Author: Reynolds, Henry
This captivating work charts the history of Tasmania from the arrival of European maritime expeditions in the late eighteenth century, through to the modern day. By presenting the perspectives of both Indigenous Tasmanians and British settlers, author Henry Reynolds provides an original and engaging exploration of these first fraught encounters. Utilising key themes to bind his narrative, Reynolds explores how geography created a unique economic and migratory history for Tasmania, quite separate from the mainland experience. He offers an astute analysis of the island’s economic and demographic reality, by noting that this facilitated the survival of a rich heritage of colonial architecture unique in Australia, and allowed the resident population to foster a powerful web of kinship. Reynolds’ remarkable capacity to empathise with the characters of his chronicle makes this a powerful, engaging and moving account of Tasmania’s unique position within Australian history.