Eric Rolls has compiled some early favourable European impressions of Australia in the form of biographical sketches. 'Visions of Australia presents the opinions of one hundred of those who saw the land one to three hundred years ago and the cities as they developed.'
The book dispels the dreary impressions of Australia as portrayed by writers like Henry Lawson and Adam Lindsay Gordon who saw the land through the eyes of settlers trying to forge a living against a harsh landscape.
Rolls derived material from manuscripts in every state in Australia and in England drawing on a diverse range of original historical documents including diaries and journals. This material spans the time period from Abel Tasman in 1642 to a Northern Territory magistrate, Lionel Gee, in 1910 and includes accounts by Watkin Tench, Hume and Hovell, and Francis Greenway.
Source Visions of Australia : Impressions of the Landscape 1642-1910 edited by Eric Rolls. South Melbourne : Thomas C. Lothian Pty Ltd, 2002