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General history & topography

General history & topography

The mystery of the Standing Stones – Orkney, Lewis and Ireland

Anyone who has visited Stonehenge, the best known of the neolithic monuments in Britain, can relate to the feeling of ancient mystery invoked by these imposing monoliths. There are many other sites in Britain where you can find other standing stones. What were they? Who built them? Why were they built? Lesley will take you on a journey back 5000 years to give an archaeological insight into the Callanish stones of the Isle of Lewis, the Ring of Brodgar in the Orkneys and the Newgrange Passage tomb near Dublin.

A History of New South Wales: From Its Settlement to the Year 1844

In two volumes, Thomas Henry Braim’s History of New South Wales from Its Settlement to the close of the year 1844 gives a comprehensive look at this period of the history of New South Wales.

The first section examines the discovery and early history of the colony during the governments of Captain Phillip, Captain Hunter, Captain King, Captain Bligh, Major-General Macquarie, Sir Thomas Brisbane and Lieutenant-General Darling.

Old Colonials

Published in 1891, this book by Alexander J. Boyd describes life in the Queensland bush as witnessed by him during his time as a school inspector and journalist.

The collection of sketches of Queensland life includes a stockman, shepherd, drover, pioneer, fencer, splitter, timber-getter, cockatoo farmer, barman, barmaid, larrikin, carrier, mailman, coachdriver, hawker, swagsman, loafer, digger, prospector, bush doctor, bush banker, pearl-sheller, bush butcher, sugar-boiler, independent schoolmaster, and school inspector.

Round the Compass in Australia

Consisting largely of articles appearing first in journals and then published in 1892 as a complete work, Gilbert Parker gives a glimpse of life and social conditions at the time in Australia.

In the main the material was originally printed in Harpers Weekly, the Sydney Morning Herald, St. James's Gazette, The English Illustrated Magazine, Black and White, and The Illustrated London News.

Colonial Facts and Fictions

Written by Mark Kershaw in 1886, this book is both a light-hearted and more serious look at life in Australia and New Zealand.

He covers a wide range of topics - Adventures with a boomerang, A Newcastle legend, The Royal Society of Hulloomaloo, A wonderful bath, A circular story, The smelting works, The rabbit difficulty explained, Dickey Adams, About earthquakes, and more. He also gives a more serious description of the country he visited – North Australia, Queensland, the Darling Downs and New England, Early days in Melbourne, Tasmania, and New Zealand.


A Colonial Tramp: Travels and Adventures in Australia and New Guinea

Published in 1891, this two volume set by Hume Nisbet describes his extensive travels through the Australian colonies and New Guinea.

Last Voyage to India and Australia in the 'Sunbeam' by Lady Brassey 1886-1887

Published posthumously in 1889, this book by Annie Brassey describes her last voyage to India and Australia on the luxury yacht "Sunbeam". The voyage was undertaken to improve her health but, in late 1887 on the way to Mauritius, she died of malaria and was buried at sea.

The book is based on the journal Annie kept and touches on many ports around the world – Bombay, Jubbulpore, Hyderabad, Poona, Goa, Colombo, Rangoon, Labuan, Eleopura, Celebes, Albany, Adelaide, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Prince of Wales’ Island.

Life and Progress in Australasia

Written in 1898 by Michael Davitt, while MP for South Mayo following a seven month journey through the Australasian colonies.


... Australasia is, in fact, an industrial empire of unfederated Labour nations, where neither wars nor foreign policies intrude their demoralising influences upon the peaceful programmes and progress of domestic government. The people have the fullest and most effective control of their own affairs. There are no ruling classes.
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