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Australia: History and Biography

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Australia: History and Biography

ANZAC Doctor: The Life of Sir Neville Howse, VC by Stuart Braga. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 086806694X. Recommended retail price $34.

One of Australian’s most outstanding soldier-surgeons, Sir Neville Howse was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism during the Boer War, the first time it had been conferred on a member of an Australian military unit. He remains the only Australian medical officer to have received the VC.

He later became Orange’s leading citizen and served two productive terms as Mayor. He volunteered again in 1914 and was Senior Medical Officer at Anzac Cove, where he was chiefly responsible for saving the lives of 2,000 wounded men during the first three days of the landing alone. Always fearless and controversial, he accused the British medical authorities of ‘criminal neglect’ in his evidence to the Dardanelles Commission. Soon before the evacuation from Gallipoli, he was promoted to Major-General and appointed as Director of Medical Services for the whole of the AIE. He was knighted three times for his services.

In 1921, Sir Neville Howse was appointed Director General of the Medical Services of the Australian military.htm Forces and made significant reforms. He entered Parliament in 1922 and held several portfolios – Defense, Health, Home and Territories, and Repatriation (now Veterans’ Affairs), on which he set a stamp of caring concern which has continued to this day. He initiated the move of the Public Service to Canberra in 1928 and gave strong support to the establishment of the Australian War Memorial.

As Minister of Health he encouraged medical research, notably cancer research, setting up one of the word’s first radium banks. He died in 1930, a truly great Australian. Soft cover, 392 pages, published in 2000.

Australia's Gold Rushes by Robert Coupe. Published by New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1864365471. Recommended retail price $24.95.

In 1851 gold was discovered in Australia, near Bathurst in New South Wales. Just four months later another find was made near Ballarat in Victoria. These events would lead to a series of gold rushes that would spread across Australia's colonies in the late 19th century, giving Australia a reputation as a place where every man could seek his fortune.

Australia's Gold Rushes presents the fascinating history of Australia's turbulent yet prosperous gold rushes. From the early finds in central New South Wales to the spread of gold fever and the Eureka Stockade, this informative book features:

Written in clear and accessible language, Australia's Gold Rushes provides readers with a vivid portrait of life on the goldfields and an insight into the rapid development of settlements throughout Australia. It makes an ideal resource for school research projects.

Robert Coupe is the author and co-author of more than 15 books, including several on Australian history and social issues. His most recent books include Australian Explorers and Australian Bushrangers, both published by New Holland. Robert worked for many years as a schoolteacher before commencing his publishing career over two decades ago. Soft cover oversized, 64 pages. Published in 2000..

Blue Ribbons Bitter Bread: The Life of Joice Nankivell Loch, Australia’s Most Decorated Woman by Susanna De Vries. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066915. Recommended retail price $32.

Joice Loch was an extraordinary Australian. She had the inspired courage that saved many hundreds of Jews and Poles in World War II, the compassion that made her a self-trained doctor to tens of thousands of refugees, the incredible grit that took her close to death in several theatres of war, and the dedication to truth and justice that shone forth in her own books and a lifetime of astonishing heroism.

Born in a cyclone in 1887 on a Queensland sugar plantation, she grew up in grinding poverty in Gippsland and emerged from years of unpaid drudgery by writing a children’s book and freelance journalism. In 1918 she married Sydney Loch, Gallipoli veteran and writer, with whom she was commissioned to produce a book on Ireland. After a dangerous time in Dublin during the Troubles, they escaped from possible IRA vengeance to work with the Quakers in Poland. There they rescued countless dispossessed people from disease and starvation and risked death themselves.

In 1922, Joice and Sydney went to Greece to aid the 1,500,000 refugees fleeing Turkish persecution. Greece was to become their home. They lived in an ancient tower by the sea in the shadows of Athos, the Holy Mountain, and worked selflessly for decades to save victims of war, famine and disease.

During World War II, Joice Loch was an agent for the Allies in Eastern Europe and pulled off a spectacular escape to snatch over 1,000 Jews and Poles from death just before the Nazis invaded Bucharest, escorting them via Constantinople to Palestine. By the time she died in 1982, she had written ten books, saved many thousands of lives, and was one of the world’s most decorated women. At her funeral, the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Oxford named her ‘one of the most significant women of the twentieth century’.

This classic Australian biography is a tribute to one of Australia's greatest heroes.
Soft cover, 360 pages. Published in 2000.


Book of David, The by Beverley Eley. Recommended retail price $9.95.

This is the remarkable story of David Helfgott. David was born in Australia to Polish parents who fled the looming horrors of Hitler’s Europe. Despite financial hardship there was always music in the Helfgott household. The object of his father’s obsessive love, David showed prodigious talent as a pianist … a talent that was both a tremendous gift and ultimately destructive.

Acclaimed in Australia at a young age, David went on to study in England. A performance with the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra received rave reviews. From this triumph David began a descent into a personal hell, a breakdown and years in the musical wilderness. His recovery from that tragic time is an extraordinary story of courage and love. With wife Gillian’s support, David regained his dignity and the respect of the musical world. This is an extraordinary story of a survivor, an eccentric who lives by the creed “It’s alright to be different”. David Helfgott’s story has been made into the internationally renowned film Shine. Soft cover, 285 pages.

Breakfast With Beaverbrook: Memoirs of an Independent Woman by Ann Moyal. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066044. Recommended retail price $13.

Ann Moyal’s is a life lived to the full, if at times unconventionally. Three-times married, she has always sought to balance her life as a woman with her varied career: working with the vivid and controversial Lord Beaverbrook, co-founding the Australian Dictionary of Biography, becoming a ‘cause clbre’ as an academic at Griffith University, and later choosing independence and emerging as a leading social historian of Australian science, telecommunication and technology.

In Breakfast With Beaverbrook she has balanced an exploration of her early life and career highlights on the world’s stage with the more complex strands of maturity and achievement.

Moyal’s life has been a rich and diverse intellectual experience, yet she tells of it in a simple and engaging style. – Sunday Age

Don’t wait for the extended reviews – ask your bookseller for it now. – Australian

Breakfast with Beaverbrook is in the tradition of Richardson, Franklin, Hewell and Breer. – Joy Hooton, Voices

Ann Moyal is a remarkable woman. She’s quick, clever and impatient. She also has a neat talent for amusing malice. -- Sydney Morning Herald. Soft cover, 218 pages, published in 1995.

Hard Country, Hard Men: In the Footsteps of Gregory by Kieran Kelly. Published by Hale and Iremonger. Recommended retail price $30.

Augustus Charles Gregory, Australia’s greatest explorer, left a powerful narrative of his 1855-6 expedition to northern Australia – but that was never enough for Kieran Kelly, Sydney stockbroker hero-worshipped Gregory from boyhood. This book tells how Kelly turned an extraordinary dream into hard, backbreaking reality, to take men and packhorses along the same dangerous and exciting trail that Gregory blazed 144 years before.

To meet the challenge of the harsh Northern Territory landscape, much of it unvisited since Gregory’s heroic exploration, Kelly retrained himself in endurance riding, mastered nineteenth-century navigation equipment, obtained exact replicas of the Grey pack saddles and worked tirelessly to inspire the individuals and officials who would make this explorer’s dream come true.

Hard Country, Hard, Men tells the story of his achievement – a story of toughness, humor, courage and ingenuity, as a gritty, sometimes skeptical group of today’s men of the outback battled the same unforgiving landscape that Gregory rode through and, in the process, rediscovered its grandeur.

This gripping account of their adventure is skillfully interwoven with the vivid narrative of Gregory’s expedition, day by day we follow both parties, separated by time but united by place. In this book, written in the very footsteps of Gregory, heroism and passion combine to create a classic of the Australian outback.

Hayes Gordon: The man and his dream by Lawrence Durrant. Pubished by Hale and Iremonger. Recommended retail price $18.

After refusing to sign McCarthy’s iniquitous “loyalty oath”, Hayes Gordon left a successful career in the USA. His journey to Australia was to prove a major turning point in his life. The story of a Boston shoeshine boy who became a leading light in Australian theatre. Actor, director, founder of the Ensemble Theatre he was much loved for his role as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
Hard cover, 254 pages.

Historic Sydney: The Founding of Australia by Susanna de Vries. Published by Pandanus Press. ISBN 0958540829. Recommended retail price $50.

This well-researched handsome book has become an Australian classic. Everyone with an interest in Sydney’s history should possess a copy.

Painting, drawings and engravings by some of Australia’s earliest artists record the establishment of the convict settlement. Through vivid text and colorful paintings we are transported back to the first hundred years of Old Sydney Town and watch it turn into a beautiful harbor city.

Unlike the earliest days of London, Paris, or New York, Sydney’s founding years were recorded in water-colors and drawings by trained naval military.htm artists, which make this book both fascinating and unique. It’s pages reveal aspects of Sydney’s daily life and development with cricket matches and picnic parties in the Domain, sailing races on the harbor, the paddocks of Paddington Village and the worker’s cottages of Balmain. The book is an important record of Sydney suburbs, colonial mansions, convict cottages and parts of the city that have been destroyed as well as areas that have been restored and are part of Australia’s heritage.

The 120 paintings and sketches in the book bring to life the unique past of a city that has now evolved into a cosmopolitan capital and Olympic venue. Hard cover, 160 pages, published in 1999 (3
rd and revised edition).

In Their Own Image: Greek Australians by Effy Alexakis & Leonard Janiszewski. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0 86806 655 9. Recommended retail price $40.

This stunning celebration in words and pictures of almost 200 years of the Greek-Australian experience breaks down stereotypes and displays the diversity of Greek settlement. In Their Own Image is a moving tribute to the many thousands of Hellenic People who have contributed so much to Australian life and is a celebration is words and pictures of the Greek-Australian experience. Hard cover, 240 pages, 194 photos. 285 x 210 mm.

Savage Cows & Cabbage Leaves; An Italian Life by Marie Alafaci. Published by Hale and Iremonger. Recommended retail price $20.

In 1927, a four-year-old Carmela Barbaro arrived in Melbourne with her mother after a long sea voyage, during which she was almost kidnapped, and met her father for the first time. He had left Calabria two months after the wedding and it had taken him nearly five years to save the money to bring his wife and child to Australia, while supporting them in their village back in Italy.

With great nostalgic appeal, this rich narrative texture is enhanced by photographs, newspaper clippings, family tales and traditional Calabrian recipes. Above all, this is an engaging and compelling read, a memoir of great liveliness and charm.

This biography, written by a descendant of Carmela’s, follows the fortunes of the family, until her eighteenth birthday on the eve of World War II. They faced hardship, prejudice and poverty, but their story is full of humor, passion and the joy of living. It is a celebration of one woman’s growing up in pre-war Melbourne and an intimate portrait of an immigrant family.

Carmelo Barbaro, now Carmel Maggiore and in her seventies, is the author’s mother’s eldest sister. Marie Alafaci was always impressed by her great-aunt’s character and personality, and was struck by the clarity of her recall. She began asking her about the past and became so fascinated with the family’s story that she spent several years researching in archives, newspapers, diaries and family ephemera to create a fascinating biographical portrait set clearly in the social and historical context of the times. Soft cover, 240 pages.

Seasons of Love: In Australia and Germany by Adriane Wildencamp. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066656. Recommended retail price $20.

This is a love story about a woman who loses her heart to hot, wild Australia and an Australian man. It is also about her escape, from the darkness of German guilt and from her own past – into a passionate marriage, motherhood, her career as a rural GP and obstetrician, and a new home in the pristine beauty of Tasmania.

Then comes the challenge of the ‘German Year’, when she takes her whole family to explore the Germany of today and finds herself facing the demons – and angels – of her past.

From a life full of fierce contrasts, bold voyages of adventure and an ardent search for personal truth, Adriane Wildencamp weaves a fascinating story that vibrates with the colours of her two homelands.

Seasons of Love is one of the most frank, fearless and spellbinding autobiographies ever written in Australia. Paddy isn’t the most hard-bitten guy from the Southern Hemisphere but it made him cry. Highly recommended. Soft cover, 328 pages.

Shadow Child: A Memoir of the Stolen Generation by Rosalie Fraser. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066583. Recommended retail price $15.

Taken from her parents, brothers and sisters and committed to the care of the Child Welfare Department, Rosalie, a two-year-old Aboriginal child, was subjected to unbelievable abuse at the hands of her foster mother. Shadow Child exposes the faceless bureaucracy that went on to tear from Rosalie her baby sister – and her identity.

Escaping from the torture of her so-called home, she became a street-kid in constant trouble with the law, but with the help of others and by her own unquenchable spirit, survived to become the author of this powerful and inspiring autobiography, which, miraculously, has a happy ending. Soft cover, 276 pages.

Shine; The Screenplay by Jan Sardi. Recommended retail price $18.

The story of Australian pianist David Helfgott was brought to the attention of many by the film Shine. This is the screenplay of that inspirational movie … the story of David Helfgott’s journey to define his individuality … and of a father, driven by overpowering loveand a history that compels him to hold his family together at all costs and who simply cannot part with the little genius he has created. Soft cover, 176 pages.

Sister, Sister by Anna Blay. Published by Hale and Iremonger. Recommended retail price $15.

From the busy marketplaces of pre-war Krakow, Poland, to the horror of the Holocaust and the haven of Schindler’s factory, to the apparent peace and safety of a suburban backyard in Melbourne, Australia, this is the story of two sisters who miraculously survived.

Their extraordinary life stories are interwoven with the childhood and later memories of the narrator, Anna, daughter and niece of the two sisters, Hela and Janka.

Through the recollections and dreams of these three voices we learn of worlds and people forever lost, of shattered hopes, of the fragility of survival, and of the power of the human spirit.

Born in Paris is 1947, Anna emigrated with her parents to Melbourne in 1949. She is married with three grown-up sons and one grandchild. Her love of art, music and painting has been engendered in her three sons. Anna became an English and French teacher in 1985 and is now Head of LOTE (Languages Other Than English) in a private school in Melbourne.

She visited Krakow and Auschwitz on her honeymoon, and is a member of Descendants of the Shoah Inc., a second-generation group that meets regularly in Melbourne to discuss their parents’ relationship to the Holocaust, and their relationships with their parents.

Her first book, If All the Seas Were Ink (1993), was about her uncle Jozef Gross, one of the group saved by Schindler.

‘Fascinating, whimsical, robust and horrifying… does eloquent honour to all the lost sisters of history.’ (Thomas Keneally) Shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Awards. Soft cover, 264 pages.

Stilwater cover thumbnail

Stilwater by by Rafael de Grenade. Published by Milkweed Editions. Recommended retail price $16.

The spellbinding true story of a young woman’s adventure in the Australian outback as she joins a small crew on an abandoned cattle station and drags feral cattle in from the wild.

One thousand square miles of coastal scrub—inundated by monsoon floods in summer, baked dry in winter, and filled with the most deadly animals in the world—Stilwater seems an unlikely home for a cattle operation. But in the countless miles beyond the station compound roam tens of thousands of cows, many entirely feral from a long period of neglect. Rafael has been hired, along with a ragged crew of ringers and stockmen, to bring them in for drafting. Over a season they use helicopters, motorcycles, bullcatcher jeeps, horses, ropes, and knives to win Stilwater Station back from the wild.

A deeply poetic inquiry into our desire to make order where we find wildness, Stilwater: Finding Wild Mercy in the Outback suffuses us with salt and scrub and blood, blurring the line between domestic and feral in wondrous, unsettling ways. This is a whirlwind of men, women, cattle, horses, machines and landscape in collaborative evolution, all becoming different manifestations of the same entity—the Australian Wild. Paperback, 288 pages, published in 2014.

Terre Napoleon by Susan Hunt and Paul Carter. Published by Bloomings Books. ISBN 0949753874. Recommended retail price $47.95.

Terre Napoleon: Australia Through French Eyes includes many exquisite watercolors from the Lesueur Collection at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Le Havre and explores the story behind the Baudin expedition which produced these remarkable images.

The 46 watercolors and drawings forming the core of Terre Napoleon are but a small part of the vast visual record of one of the most extraordinary scientific enterprises of our early colonial period - the Baudin expedition of 1800 to 1804. A voyage born of revolutionary times, these images by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit are what remains of Napoleon's ambition to establish a new scientific empire in the Antipodes.

The beautiful and delicate images include Aboriginal culture, the Port Jackson settlement, Australia’s marine life, birds and mammals.

The race to chart new territory was keenly contested between France and Britain. As a scientific expedition, it was a voyage of unequalled scientific and artistic achievement. It was said to have discovered and described more specimens than in all previous voyages combined, including those of Captain Cook.

Terre Napoleon follows on from the publication Baudin in Australian Waters (out of print) in providing a new look at the French encounter with Nouvelle Hollande. Essays by Susan Hunt and Paul Carter examine political motivations for the voyage, the scientific importance of the images and the human story of the expedition: suffering, tragedy, brinkmanship, intrigue and ill-health.

· Australians are taking a keen interest in their historical identity and this new book with hitherto unpublished material challenges us to rethink our early connections between France and Australia.
· Following the superb Fleeting Encounters and An Exquisite Eye, this is the third publication dealing with the first European encounters with Terre Australis, its inhabitants, flora and fauna.

Hard cover, 160 pages. Published in 1999.

Tokyo Calling: the Charles Cousens Case by Ivan Chapman. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868063673. Recommended retail price $15.

Australia was divided about Charles Cousens. Was he a traitor who collaborated with the Japanese, broadcasting and writing reasonable scripts for Radio Tokyo, or was he, as he claimed, simply a prisoner-of-war, forced to cooperate with his captors under threat of torture and death?

When World War II ended, in a case unique in Australian legal history, Major Charles Cousens, 2/19th Battalion, AIF, was charged with high treason. The fact that before the war he had been one of Australia’s most popular radio announcers made the case all the more sensational.

The Prosecution argued that he had been a willing tool of the Japanese and had led an easy life in Tokyo. It attempted to liken the scripts he wrote to those broadcast by Lord Haw-Haw from Nazi Germany and alleged that Cousens has trained ‘Tokyo rose’, the best known radio voice in the Pacific war.

Cousens himself maintained that wherever possible he had sabotaged Japanese propaganda and intruded information useful to the Allies. And others saw no difference between what Cousens did as a POW and what 15,000 others did for the Japanese in building railways and roads and working the docks. As Brigadier Harold Taylor said, “We all had the same choice of doing what we were told, or being shot.”

To write this, the first critical assessment of the case, Ivan Chapman followed Cousens’ career from radio to television. Chapman also sifted the evidence presented in court, examined copies of Cousens’ radio scripts, interviewed fellow POWs, and traced Japanese with whom Cousens was forced to work at Radio Tokyo. Soft cover, 388 pages published 1990.

Voluntary Exiles: From Tamatave to Peking by Joan Rowlands. ISBN 0868066761. Published by Hale and Iremonger. Recommended retail price $32.

The backgrounds of Australia's immigrants are extremely diverse, but author Joan Rowlands' background is truly remarkable. All four of her grandparents were missionaries. The author and her mother were both born in China and her father in Madagascar.

This is biographical history, transcending family history. It investigates the missionary impulse, sometimes critically, and recreates the experience of living in two very different and fascinating cultures during periods of great upheaval. Over a span of more than forty years in Madagascar and sixty years in China, the protagonists of this epic work faced turbulent times: riots and revolutions, foreign invasion and civil war, as well as the natural disasters of hurricanes, floods and famines.
Their courage, intelligence, practical ability and compassion were extraordinary, but they are portrayed as ordinary individuals, not as saints. Soft cover, 367 pages. Published in 2000.

William Dampier in New Holland. Published by Bloomings Books. ISBN 1876473126. Recommended retail price $37.95.

Click on links below for these books.

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Merchant of the Zeehaen, The : Isaac Gilsemans and the Voyages of Abel Tasman by Grahame Anderson

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