Charles Robert Scrivener: The Surveyor who Sited Australia's National Capital Twice
Arcadia, $39.95 pb, 304 pp, 9781921875588
In the 1890s the six Australian colonies were preoccupied not only with getting a fair deal over tariffs and customs – and maintaining the purity of the Anglo-Saxon race – but also with the location of the national capital. Denizens of Melbourne and Sydney felt that it should be one of them. The compromise was a capital in New South Wales, closer to Sydney than Melbourne, but with Melbourne as the seat of federal government until it was constructed.