Beverley Kingston

An earlier version of this history of Victoria first appeared in 1984 as Our Side of the Country. Though for the past sixteen years Sydney-born politicians Paul Keating and John Howard have usurped Victoria’s former almost constant ‘top position’ in Canberra, the possessive pride reflected in that early title still runs through this modern version ...

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According to the back cover: ‘This book explores the way common conversation matters … that during the last two hundred years we have been beguiled by reading and writing. Only during the last part of the twentieth century have we begun to remember the importance of speech as a source of truth in human affairs.’ It could also be noted that the seven essays collected here began as lectures, seminars or articles on such themes as the role of the monarchy in modern Australia (Prince Charles is judged a better speechmaker than his mum, therefore we have hope), the republican movement, the significance of Manning Clark and Henry Reynolds as influential Australian historians, the early nineteenth-century views of Edward Smith Hall and James Macarthur on the rights of Aboriginal people, and Raffaello Carboni’s account of the Eureka Stockade.

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Over 35,000 copies of the hardback edition of Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop’s war diaries had been sold before they were reissued in paperback. Now Sue Ebury, who edited those diaries for publication, has written an accompanying ‘Life’. An impish picture of the older Weary in a sportscoat looking rather smaller than he really was grins beneath his name written in gold on a red silk background. In the paper edition it will surely be embossed.

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