Nothing But Gold: The Diggers of 1852

By Robyn Annear

Gold used to be stumbled on in Australia in 1851, and inside a 12 months the newborn colony used to be reworked from a sump for convicts to a Land of chance. Robyn Annear's energetic background describes intimately existence at the diggings: the dust of iciness and dirt of summer season, the pluckiness of the ladies and youngsters, the grog shanties, the flies, the mania of mining, the depression and the delirium, and the a lot hated licensing approach which was once to culminate within the Eureka Stockade.

'Robyn Annear tells the tale of the 1852 gold rushes in resourceful element ... she tells us the way it felt to be there. you end up being concerned in regards to the difficulties in the past resolved, sharply conscious of the gold diggers' hopes and ordeals, diverted via the excessive comedy of a chaotic lifestyles. like any stable narratives, it appears to be like effortless since it is so simply learn and loved ... She makes a mosaic out of small moments of expertise ... The actual realities of the diggings spring to mind, with all of the creative methods of coping with tent house, cooking, guarding gold, discovering feed for horses, warding off wind and rain, ants and mice.' Brenda Niall

Robyn Annear was born in Melbourne in 1960. She spends her time writing and learning, typing for folks and searching after her relations. She can be a part-time bookseller and President of the buddies of the Castlemaine Library.

'History from the interior; splendidly entertaining.' Age

'A great addition to Australian background, pointing to badly wanted ways that historical past could be made extra reader-friendly.' Quadrant

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Free-born they may not were, yet they knew now what it was once to be free-living. Henry Brown had noticeable the way it used to be on his first actual day in Bendigo. He’d stopped off at a shop, you’ll take into accout, and saw the storekeeper’s wily demeanour of dealing with gold. the entire whereas, the shop progressively packed with miners. whilst he grew to become his consciousness eventually from storekeeper to consumers, Brown spotted that, although their coarse unwashedness, ‘these fellows had a real glance approximately them I had by no means visible prior to within the sons of toil’.

He swore that the outcome used to be more suitable to something present in the easiest tea rooms of britain. On a typical night-in on the diggings, with no longer even more than the usual flour and mutton at his disposal, how may well a conscripted prepare dinner desire to excite the tastebuds of his drained and cranky associates? With a number of years’ tough colonial adventure less than his belt, Edward Snell was once no beginner at knocking up a delectable meal out of subsequent to not anything. first and foremost of his tentkeeping week, Snell could make a couple of particular purchases: a bit rice, a few currants, a lump of suet, and, while he might get them, part a dozen onions.

The extra ingenuous one of the newbies have been slack-jawed on the diggings spectacle, billing it variously as: ‘the scene of scenes’, ‘the such a lot curious sight you could imagine’, ‘a completely confounding phantasmagoria’. Others drew parish-scale parallels from inside of their very own event. to at least one guy the scene used to be ‘something just like the races’; to a different it was once ‘like a rustic reasonable 5 miles long’; another used to be reminded of ‘a huge hotel yard’. For Claus Gronn, it used to be a case of existence imitating artifice: he likened his first view of the Mount Alexander diggings to a different renowned spectacle of the interval, the cyclorama.

The of the line had deteriorated to a surprising degree—not that it was once any nice shakes firstly. in the course of the summer season of 1851-52, the line were knee-deep in dirt, tangled with tree roots and staggered with stumps, and gouged in all places with ruts and holes. In locations it was once no wider than a backyard course and so hemmed in by means of timber that they grazed a cart’s wheels on both sides. there has been no feed for horses, and no water for guy or beast. while rain eventually got here, initially of might, it prompted such violent flooding that the roads obtained much worse in a rush.

Hughes, William, The Australian Colonies: Their foundation and current , Longmans, London, 1853. Illustrated London information, chosen items, 1852-53. J. E. C. [James Erskine Calder], ‘Accounts of the Gold-Fields of Australia by way of a Digger’, letter from Hobart city, October 1852, in Illustrated London information, 14 may well 1853, pp. 386-7. Jameson, R. G. , Australia and Her Gold areas: an entire Description of Its Geology, weather, items, (etc)…The entire Forming a whole Guide-book to the Gold Mines, Cornish, Lamport & Co.

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