Rolls, Eric

In 1981, a bomb landed in the field of Australian consciousness of itself and its land in the form of Eric Rolls’ A Million Wild Acres.  The ensuing explosion has caused extensive and heated debate ever since amongst historians, ecologists, environmentalists, poets and writers.  In 2011, it was reissued in a commemorative 30th Anniversary Edition for a new generation of readers and against the backdrop of renewed and urgent concern about climate change, it includes Tom Griffiths’ seminal essay, ‘The Writing of A Million Wild Acres’, and a foreword by Les Murray drawn from his work ‘Eric Rolls and the Golden Disobedience‘.

Here is a contentious story of men and their passion for land; of occupation and settlement; of destruction and growth. By following the tracks of these pioneers who crossed the Blue Mountains into northern New South Wales, Eric Rolls – poet, farmer and self-taught naturalist – has written the history of European settlement in Australia. He evokes the ruthlessness and determination of the first settlers who worked the land — a land they knew little about.

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Hale & Iremonger, May 2011.  496 pages, paperback.