Camden History Notes

Ian Willis documents Camden stories drawn from the memories and experiences of local families, local identities, community organisations, local institutions, local rituals and traditions, and a host of other matters. These stories link to other parts of the world and are part of the movement of peoples, ideas, technologies and institutions across national boundaries, from Read more …

Frank the Poet: Francis MacNamara, 1811-1861

Francis MacNamara, was born in 1811 in Cashel, he claimed, in the County Tipperary, Ireland. He was transported to Botany Bay in 1832, then to Van Diemen’s Land arriving 29 October 1842, by which time he was widely known as ‘Frank the Poet’. Mark Gregory’s research project on MacNamara’s life and work is documented in Read more …

The Man the Anzacs Revered: William ‘Fighting Mac’ McKenzie, Anzac Chaplain

Daniel Reynaud’s The Man the Anzacs Revered: William ‘Fighting Mac’ McKenzie, Anzac Chaplain is the first biography of ‘Fighting Mac’ to sort the facts from the fiction and present William McKenzie as he was. McKenzie was one of the most famous of the Anzacs, a legend for his work on Gallipoli and in France. He, Read more …

Linton Makes History: An Australian Goldfields Town and its Past

Jill Wheeler’s Linton Makes History: An Australian Goldfields Town and its Past (Melbourne University Publishing) places the history of this small gold rush town in western Victoria in the context of the wider Australian story, showing the impact of the broad themes in Australian history on ordinary people, and how histories of small places can Read more …

Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney

In Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney (NewSouth Books), Catherine Bishop populates the streets of colonial Sydney with entrepreneurial businesswomen earning their living in a variety of enterprises and brings their stories to life, with fascinating details of their successes and failures, their determination and wilfulness, their achievements, their tragedies and the occasional Read more …

The Luck of the Irish: How a Shipload of Convicts Survived the Wreck of the Hive to Make a New Life in Australia

Babette Smith’s, The Luck of the Irish: How a Shipload of Convicts Survived the Wreck of the Hive to Make a New Life in Australia (Allen & Unwin) is a fascinating portrait of colonial life in the mid-nineteenth century that reveals how the Irish helped lay the foundations of the Australia we know today. It Read more …

Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan

In Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (University of Hawai’i Press) Robert Cribb, Helen Gilbert and Helen Tiffin offer the first comprehensive history of the human-orangutan encounter. Beginning with the scientific discovery of the red ape more than three hundred years ago, this work goes on to examine the ways in which Read more …

Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt’s America

In Crisis of the Wasteful Nation (University of Chicago Press), Ian Tyrrell gives us a cohesive picture of Roosevelt’s engagement with the natural world along with a compelling portrait of how Americans used, wasted, and worried about natural resources in a time of burgeoning empire. Countering traditional narratives that cast conservation as a purely domestic Read more …