Geography

Australian universities have long taught early modern (c.1500–1750) English/British and European history, but with Alexandra Walsham’s recent appointment as the first female to occupy a Cambridge history chair, there are now (with Oxford’s Lyndal Roper) two Melbourne-trained early modernist Oxbridge professors ...

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This bold book, with its lucid prose and vivid illustrations, will be discussed for years to come. It is not original in the narrow sense of the word, but it takes an important idea to new heights because of the author’s persistence and skill. Bill Gammage, an oldish and experienced historian of rural background ...

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Novelist Janette Turner Hospital’s recent essay in praise of New York’s Central Park remarked on its visibility from outer space. No doubt Adelaide’s Park Lands, an integral part of the 1837 vision of founding surveyor Colonel William Light’s plan for the city, can also be seen from outer space.

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Sydney by Delia Falconer

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November 2010, no. 326

Delia Falconer’s Sydney, the third in a series from NewSouth in which leading Australian authors write about their hometowns, is like its harbour, brimful with tones, vivid with contemplation ...

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Adelaide by Kerryn Goldsworthy

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October 2011, no. 335

This year is the 175th anniversary of European settlement in South Australia. The University of Adelaide presented a series of public lectures collectively called Turning Points in South Australian History. Bill Gammage gave the first and showed by an accretion of primary sources that, prior to white settlement in 1836, Aborigines kept a tidy landscape thanks to the controlled use of fire. First Adelaidians exclaimed that the landscape was close to an English garden. Henry Reynolds gave the second lecture, and made much of the political and social timing of the settlement, after the abolition of slavery in London and just before the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand. The idea of terra nullius was in its preliminary colonial tatters.

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On 18 January 1773, less than twenty-four hours after first entering Antarctic waters and concerned by the ice gathering around the Resolution, Commander James Cook surveyed the waters. A few hours later he wrote in his journal: ‘From the mast head I could see nothing to the Southward but Ice, in the Whole extent from East to WSW without the least appearance of any partition.’

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