Highlight: Nothing But Gold, the Diggers of 1852

TXT004-2 Nothing but GoldTitle:  Nothing but Gold, the Diggers of 1852
Author:  Robyn Annear
Media:  paperback, 344 pages
ISBN:  9781876485283
Year:  2012
Other:  b&w photos, maps, sketches, bibliog, index
Item Code: TXT004
Price: $26.95
Link to website

Australia’s goldrushes are an important time in the country’s history, having changed family life for so many due to migration when they headed to the goldfields, and of course some had good fortune, others bad fortune. And some never returned home.

Robyn Annear’s ‘Nothing but Gold’ book is one of the standard works on this topic. Having first been published in 1999, and having been reprinted and updated numerous times since, this is a must for everyone who wants to experience life on the goldfield as it was in 1852.

Gold was discovered in Australia in 1851, and within a year the infant colony was transformed from a sump for convicts to a Land of Opportunity. Robyn Annear’s lively history describes in detail life on the diggings: the mud of winter and dust of summer, the pluckiness of the women and children, the grog shanties, the flies, the mania of mining, the despair and the delirium, and the much hated licensing system which was to culminate in the Eureka Stockade.

Robyn tells the story of the 1852 gold rushes in imaginative detail … she tells us how it felt to be there. You find yourself worrying about the problems long ago resolved, sharply aware of the gold diggers’ hopes and ordeals, diverted by the high comedy of a chaotic time. Like all good narratives, it look easy because it is so easily read and enjoyed.

She makes a mosaic out of small moments of experience … the physical realities of the diggings are evoked, with all the ingenious ways of managing tent space, cooking, guarding gold, finding feed for horses, keeping off wind and rain, ants and mice. – Brenda Niall

Contents:
Weights and Measures
A Note About Goldfield Names
Map of the Victorian Goldfields 1851-52
Prelude
1. Discovery
2. The Great Exhibition
3. Melbourne-bound
4. Diggings, Ho!
5. The Road
6. The Tent
7. Tentkeeping
8. The Land of Chops and Steak
9. The Neighbourhood
10. Time Off
11. Sundays
12. When the Dustwinds Blow
13. Rush
14. Dig
15. Perseverance
16. Diggers’ Gold
17. The New Aristocracy
18. Licences and the Law
19. Police!
20. The Camp
21. Joe!
22. Keep Your Powder Dry
23. The Great Adventure
Coda
Bibliography
Index

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