In 1852 William Howitt (1792-1879) set sail for Australia in order to try his luck in the goldfields of Victoria. By then he was already a prolifically published author of both prose and verse. He was only moderately successful as a gold-digger, but ...
his account of life in the new colony, published in 1855 after his return to England, provides an extraordinary snapshot of the rapid early growth of Melbourne. Volume 1 covers his first impressions of Australia, his experiences on the journey to the diggings at Bendigo, and the miners' protest over licence fees. He describes the hard life endured by the diggers and warns against women coming to the colony. Volume 2 considers the effects of the influx of a great number of immigrants and the presence of convicts. Howitt also reflects on government policy and the draft constitution, and describes visits to Sydney and Tasmania.
Number of pages: 848
Date of publication: 17/02/2011
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