Men of Yesterday: A Social History of the Western District of Victoria, 1834-1890

Men of Yesterday: A Social History of the Western District of Victoria, 1834-1890

Men of Yesterday: A Social History of the Western District of Victoria, 1834-1890

Men of Yesterday: A Social History of the Western District of Victoria, 1834-1890

Excerpt

In September 1949, in a talk to a group of historians in the University of Melbourne, Margaret Kiddle discussed her plans for a book on the social history of the Western District of Victoria. She had already seen it as spanning the two generations from the arrival of young men seeking wealth in a strange land to the last decade of the nineteenth century, which was the sunset of their nostalgic reconstruction of the old world. By 1954, when the book was half written, she had come to realize that her theme comprised more than the physical achievements of the pastoral pioneers and their way of life; that her concern must be also with conflicts of loyalty and behaviour posed first by a new environment, and then by the new society created by the gold rushes. Her work made steady progress in the next three years. Despite increasing bodily weakness she completed the book some weeks before her death in May 1958.

Before Margaret Kiddledied nearly all the chapters had been circulated to various friends, whose comments were before her when she made notes for a final revision. Many of the small corrections which have been made in preparing the manuscript for the press thus have her authority; for others she gave a general discretion to the colleagues with whom she had frequently discussed her work. This is Margaret Kiddle's book, not a book based on her manuscript. The title was chosen by her. The dedication, for which she left written instructions, expresses a debt she could not acknowledge in detail.

She was worried because there was one task she could not complete, that of thanking by name those who have helped in the making of this book. From the files of her correspondence, and from my personal knowledge, I could list many of them; but I should almost certainly do injustice by omission. I therefore simply mention categories. Most grateful thanks are due to descendants, or present representatives, in the Western District, in Melbourne and in Britain, of the pastoral pioneers; to librarians, archivists and officers of central and local government departments and to members of other institutions in Australia and Britain; to university and other scholars, men and women of wide and varied knowledge, in Melbourne, Geelong, Canberra, Armidale and other places; to the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, who provided funds for research; to the Espada Educational Trust, the Australian Humanities Research Council . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.