Peter Yule: William Lawrence Baillieu

Two fortunes

John Arnold

 

William Lawrence Baillieu: Founder of Australia’s Greatest Business Empire
by Peter Yule
Hardie Grant Books, $65 hb, 431 pp, 9781742702452

 

Although William Baillieu was not the founder of the Baillieu dynasty in Australia – that honour belonged to his father and mother, who produced sixteen children after he jumped ship and settled in Queenscliff – it was through him that the family name became a dominant one among the Melbourne Establishment. Six of the sixteen Baillieu siblings were involved in what Peter Yule describes as Australia’s greatest business empire, centred on the Collins House group. William Baillieu was its founder, builder, and leader.

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John Arnold

John Arnold

John Arnold recently retired from Monash University after twenty-three years with the National Centre for Australian Studies. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash. He was the co-editor (with John Hay) of the four-volume Bibliography of Australian Literature (2001–08) and author of The Fanfrolico Press: Satyrs, Fauns and Fine Books (2008). He edits the La Trobe Journal.

Published in May 2012 no. 341