The Macmillan Dictionary of Biography
Macmillan Australia, 917 pp, $49.95 hb
Ah, unblissful ignorance. Having recently travelled through part of the Eyre Peninsula, I wish that I had known more about Edward John Eyre, English explorer and administrator.
Thanks to Barry Jones and M.V. Dixon, and the twenty-seven years of work that brought about The Macmillan Dictionary of Biography, I now know that after his expeditions to the interior and the south-west, and his lieutenant-governorship of New Zealand, where I last placed him, he became governor of Jamaica. He violently put down a revolt in 1865, acquiring a reputation for cruelty, says the dictionary, that led to attempts to try him for murder. He survived this, however, to live quietly in retirement.