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Paul de Serville

Paul de Serville reviews ‘The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins: Australia’s unknown hero’ by Simon Nasht

December 2005–January 2006, no. 277 01 December 2005
Australia has never been so prodigal of great men that it can afford to let even one slip into oblivion; yet George Hubert Wilkins (1888–1958) is now hardly a household name. In a life of ceaseless activity, he was a photographer, naturalist, meteorologist, geographer, aviator, submariner, war correspondent, religious thinker, and writer, but he was best known as a celebrated polar explorer. His ... (read more)

Paul de Serville reviews 'Robert Hoddle: Pioneer Surveyor, 1794-1881' by Berres Hoddle Colville

August 2004, no. 263 01 August 2004
Of the two groups who opened up Australia to settlement, the squatters have created about their persons a huge library, both admiring and critical. The surveyors, who followed in their footsteps, have rarely captured the imagination (with the exception of Sir Thomas Mitchell and Colonel Light) but their influence, especially in metropolitan Australia, has been incalculable. The site of Melbourne w ... (read more)

Paul de Serville reviews 'Colonial Consorts: The wives of Victoria’s governors, 1839–1900' by Marguerite Hancock

October 2001, no. 235 01 October 2001
Nineteenth-century Victoria was reputed one of Britain’s most turbulent colonies. For more than twenty-five years, a liberal Legislative Assembly fought a conservative Legislative Council over reform of the constitution, control of Crown Lands, Protectionism and secular education. In the middle ground between the forces stood the governor, the umpire who was the Queen’s representative, the fou ... (read more)

Paul de Serville reviews 'The Unusual Life Of Edna Walling' Sara Hardy

June–July 2005, no. 272 01 June 2005
Much has been written on Edna Walling’s gardens, first by herself, later by garden historians, although no detailed account of her early career has been attempted, and less still is generally known of her private life. With a play on Walling to her credit (1987), Sara Hardy presents an account of her private life (1895–1973) and of her early career. Of her childhood in Plymouth, Walling wrote ... (read more)