Contents indexed selectively.
'In a famous study, The Australian Legend, first published in 1958, Russel Ward argued that the bush legend was the central foundation story that explained the evolution of Australian character and nationalism. Ward's version of the legend explained how from convict times onwards itinerant bush workers had created and adhered to an ethos that encompassed mateship, anti-authoritarianism (including hostility to Britain and its empire), egalitarianism, and adaptability. Although the bush legend allegedly originated with and was nurtured by a bush proletariat, Ward proposed that this regional ethos became a national creed at the turn of the 20th century, transmitted from rural to urban Australia through conduits that included the trade union movement, periodicals like The Bulletin, and the work of writers like Lawson and Paterson. (Publication abstract)
'Tom Griffiths explains that on a walking trip in France he was asked to nominate his favourite French historians. That later prompted him to think about his favourite Australian historians. In explaining his choice of 14 favourites, as he does here, he provides interesting reflections about the craft of history.' (Introduction)
'Peter Monteath’s publication of an English-language version of Gerstäcker’s Australien makes a worthwhile contribution to early Australian history. Many authors wrote of their travels in Australia; for example, George Theodore Blakers’ account of life in Australia from 1849-64; Anthony Trollope’s travels in the early 1870s in Australia and New Zealand, and Adolph Würfel, influenced by Trollope, (K.M. Reynolds, Romanticism, Culture and Migration – the diary of Adolf Würfel) covering the period from 1876-1877, and Mark Twain, The Wayward Tourist (1895). Also there were settlers, who wrote of their first-hand experiences in Australia.' (Introduction)
'In 2005 I recorded an interview for the National Library of Australia with the historian Professor Emerita Jill Roe at Macquarie University, where she was a founding member of staff (NLA, Oral TRC 5383). In the interview, Roe engagingly recalled her childhood as a farmer’s daughter on Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. In retirement Roe said she would revisit and write a history of Eyre Peninsula. This pleasing book is the result.' (Introduction)
'I confess to a conflict of interest: I’ve been a fan of an imagined Margaret Flockton, since seeing her work years ago. Its sheer beauty, calm, vibrating realism and definable character hook you, help you focus. Excellent botanical artists have this gift – increasing how and what you see.' (Introduction)