The Oxford History of Australia, Volume 4: The Succeeding Age
Oxford University Press, 399 p., index, $35.00 hb
The appearance of a volume in the Oxford History of Australia would be an important event in its own right, but coming on the eve of the Bicentennial flood of historical publications it assumes special significance. The publishers and the general editor of the series had hoped to launch all five volumes in the series well before the market is awash with books, but this plan might now be shipwrecked on the rocks of misfortune.
The Oxford History series differs from the main twelve-volume Bicentennial History Project in method and design. Each volume is being penned by a single author, rather than collectively, and each will cover a specific span of years (such as 1860-1900). The larger Project focusses on single years (for instance, 1888, 1938) hoping to offer a sense of micro-historical detail which is not always evident in conventional narrative history.