Travellers in a Landscape: Visitors’ impressions of the Darling Downs 1827–1954
USQ Press, $ 44.95 hb
This is Maurice French’s sixth work on the Darling Downs. An Associate Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Southern Queensland, he is ideally placed to study this fertile plateau in south-east Queensland, reputedly the richest agricultural land in Australia.
The author’s long preface is a dissertation upon travel and travellers. Eventually, he suggests that these tales from diverse visitors, many who later became settlers, will provide another image of the Downs to augment the popular one painted by Steele Rudd. One suspects, however, that French, having focussed for so long on this area and having an almost mystical appreciation of its beauty, will not let the subject go.