In 1835 John Batman sailed up the Yarra and was astonished by the beauty of the land. It was a temperate Kakadu, teeming with wildlife and with soils rich enough to spawn pastoral empires. With the discovery of gold, the city was transformed almost overflight into `Marvellous Melbourne'.
In his brilliant introduction to this anthology, Tim Flannery writes that the price paid was environmental ruin and the tragic loss of societies which had flourished on Port Phillip Bay for millennia.
The boom town grew up fast. Melbourne was a frontier city of gamblers, preachers and speculators, and its inhabitants had a thousand stories to tell: corroborees on Emerald Hill, privations in Canvas Town, Lola Montez's spider dance, the splendour of the Cup and the pomp of the first federal parliament.
THE BIRTH OF MELBOURNE includes voices that range from tribal elders to Chinese immigrants, from governors to criminals. John Pascoe Fawkner, Georgiana McCrae, J. B. Were, Ned Kelly, Marcus Clarke, Anthony Trollope and Rudyard Kipling are just a few who contribute to this biography of our most surprising city.
Actual cover shown.
THE BIRTH OF MELBOURNE by Tim Flannery
The Text Publishing Company - 2002