'A gifted artist whose personal style and unconventional life made him one of the most intriguing artists of the late 19th century is portrayed in this biography of Charles Conders. A friend of Tom Roberts and student of Frederick McCubbin, Conder was one of the few painters of the Heidelberg School of Australian Impressionists to achieve a reputation in Europe. After contributing to the famous 9 x 5 Exhibition in Melbourne in 1889, Conders traveled to Paris, where he mingled with such fin de siècle leaders as Oscar Wilde, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Aubrey Beardsley. There he readily embraced bohemia and found himself forever in debt, while he lived as though there were no tomorrow. Saved from poverty by marriage to a wealthy widow, the painter nevertheless descended into syphilitic madness and died before the age of 40.'(Production summary)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2002
'Alfred Felton, a bachelor of definite opinions and benignly eccentric habits, was one of the remarkable group of Melbourne merchants who dominated the economy of the Australian colonies in the decades after the gold rush. In 1904 he left his substantial fortune in trust, the income to be spent by a committee of his friends, half on charities (especially for women and children), and half on works of art for the National Gallery of Victoria, works calculated to raise and improve public taste . The Gallery suddenly gained acquisition funds greater than those of London s National and Tate galleries combined, and between 1904 and 2004 more than 15 000 items were purchased for it by the Felton Bequest. ' (Publication summary)
'When Niel Black, one of the most influential settlers of the Western District of Victoria, stepped onto the sand at Port Phillip Bay in 1839 and declared Melbourne to be "almost altogether a Scotch settlement", he was paying the newly created outpost of the British Empire his highest compliment.
'His journal ... provides rare insight into the realities of early settlement in Victoria, detailing experiences of personal hardship and physical danger as well as the potential for accumulating great wealth and success.
'Drawing on the extensive collections of the State Library of Victoria, Strangers in a Foreign Land also includes glimpses into the lives of other settlers and the indigenous people of the area. It evokes the sense of place and dislocation that the early settlers encountered, and the hopes and anxieties they carried with them as they created new homes in Australia.' (Publisher's blurb)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2008
'... [E]xplorer Tim Jarvis relives Sir Douglas Mawson's extraordinary polar survival journey of 1912-13. Battling against ferocious blizzards and headwinds, Jarvis struggles to overcome extreme isolation, physical deprivation and his own self-doubt. He embarks on his hellish journey using the same equipment, clothing and starvation rations as Mawson had available to him almost a century ago in an attempt to answer some of the questions and controversies surrounding Mawson's tragic expedition in which both of his companions died. This is the story of two journeys, undertaken a century apart, to the limits of human endurance.'
Source: Melbourne University Publishing website, www.mup.unimelb.edu.au (Sighted 23/04/08)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2008
'In Blood & Tinsel, Jim Sharman takes us on an epic personal journey from his colourful childhood in his father's boxing troupe to Tokyo, London, Berlin and Sydney via the international successes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.
'Whether recounting conversations with Lou Reed, giving us the inside story about Rocky Horror or describing a fateful meeting with Patrick White, Jim Sharman casts a brilliant story of the people and events that have shaped the times.
'Blood & Tinsel ranges from the rough and ready world of outback Australia in the fifties, where boxers and panto dames shared the stage, to the cultural explosions in which Sharman played a part. Blood & Tinsel is a remarkable story about Australia. It is also a moving tribute to a family legendary in the entertainment stakes.' (Publisher's blurb)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2008
'First Australians, the companion book to the epic SBS TV series, is the dramatic story of the collision of two worlds that created contemporary Australia. Told from the perspective of Australia's first people, it vividly brings to life the events that unfolded when the oldest living culture in the world was overrun by the world's greatest empire.
'Through a vast collection of images and historic documents, seven of Australia's leading historians reveal the true stories of individuals-both black and white-caught in an epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in Australia's most transformative period of history.
'Their story begins in 1788 in Warrane, now known as Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishman, Governor Phillip, and the kidnapped warrior Bennelong. It ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo's legal challenge to the foundation of Australia.
'By illuminating a handful of extraordinary lives spanning two centuries, First Australians reveals, through their eyes, the events that shaped a new nation.' (Publisher's blurb)Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 2008
'Malcolm Fraser is one of the most interesting and possibly most misunderstood of Australia's Prime Ministers. In this part memoir and part authorised biography, Fraser at the age of 79 years talks about his time in public life.
'From the Vietnam War to the Dismissal and his years as Prime Minister, through to his concern in recent times for breaches in the Rule of Law and harsh treatment of refugees, Fraser emerges as an enduring liberal, constantly reinterpreting core values to meet the needs of changing times.
'Written in collaboration with journalist Margaret Simons, Malcolm Fraser's political memoirs trace the story of a shy boy who was raised to be seen and not heard, yet grew to become one of the most persistent, insistent and controversial political voices of our times.
'The book offers insight into Malcolm Fraser's substantial achievements. He was the first Australian politician to describe Australia's future as multicultural, and his federal government was the first to pass Aboriginal Land Rights and Freedom of Information legislation, also establishing the Human Rights Commission.
'After his parliamentary career, Fraser continued to be an important player in public life, playing a key role in persuading the USA Congress to impose sanctions on South Africa as part of the battle against apartheid. He was also the founding chair of CARE Australia, one of our largest aid agencies.' (From the publisher's website.)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2010
'Tim Burstall, the celebrated director of Stork, Alvin Purple and numerous other definitive "ocker" comedies, is credited with shaking the moribund Australian film industry out of its torpor. But long before that, in the early 1950s, he began keeping a diary to record the world of the group of "arties" and "intellectuals" he was living among in Eltham, then a rural area outside Melbourne, where cheap land was available for mudbrick houses and studios, and where suburban rigidities could be mercilessly flouted.
'Burstall was in his mid-twenties, with two young sons and an open marriage with his wife, Betty. Eager to become a writer, to go against the grain, he kept a record almost daily—of the parties and the talk in pubs and studios, about art and politics and sex, of Communist Party branch meetings and film societies, of political rallies and the first Herald Outdoor Art Show. Somehow, while holding down a public relations job in the Antarctic Division and juggling his love affairs and obsession with the beautiful, brainy Fay, he wrote 500 words almost every day. Betty, according to the diaries, kept the show on the road, feeding friends after the pub, milking goats and working in her pottery making bowls and mugs, which Tim sometimes decorated at weekends.
'These Memoirs of a Young Bastard, as Burstall dubbed himself and them, are among the most evocative Australian diaries of modern times. Burstall can write. He has an eye for the telling detail, an unerring ear for cant and pomposity and, most endearingly, an ability to mock himself—always from the perspective of a bloke of his generation.' (From the publisher's website.)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2012
'Memorials to Australian participation in wars abound in our landscape. From Melbourne's huge Shrine of Remembrance to the modest marble soldier, obelisk or memorial hall in suburb and country town, they mourn and honour Australians who have served and died for their country. Surprisingly, they have largely escaped scrutiny. Ken Inglis argues that the imagery, rituals and rhetoric generated around memorials constitute a civil religion, a cult of ANZAC. Sacred Places traces three elements which converged to create the cult: the special place of war in the European mind when nationalism was at its zenith; the colonial condition; and the death of so many young men in distant battle, which impelled the bereaved to make substitutes for the graves of which history had deprived them. The 'war memorial movement' attracted conflict as well as commitment. Inglis looks at uneasy acceptance, even rejection, of the cult by socialists, pacifists, feminists and some Christians, and at its virtual exclusion of Aborigines. He suggests that between 1918 and 1939 the making, dedication and use of memorials enhanced the power of the right in Australian public life. Finally, he examines a paradox. Why, as Australia's wars recede in public and private memory, and as a once British Australia becomes multicultural, have the memorials and what they stand for become more cherished than ever? Sacred Places spans war, religion, politics, language and the visual arts. Ken Inglis has distilled new cultural understandings from a familiar landscape.' (Publication summary)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 1998
'Rolf Boldrewood was one of the best-known novelists of 19th-century Australia, and the first to present specifically Australian characters. Robbery Under Arms became a household name and is still in print. Boldrewood's alter ego, Thomas Alexander Brown, was a pioneer squatter, civil servant and writer, with a career in many ways far grimmer than most of his fiction.' (Publication summary)Carlton : Miegunyah Press , 2000
'In 1961 the 22-year-old Mike Brown joined the New Zealand artist, Ross Crothall, in an old terrace house in inner Sydney's Annandale. Over the following two years the artists filled the house with a remarkable body of work. Launched with an equally extraordinary exhibition, the movement they called Imitation Realism introduced collage, assemblage and installation to Australian art for the first time. Laying the groundwork for a distinctive Australian postmodernism, Imitation Realism was also the first Australian art movement to respond in a profound way to Aboriginal art, and to the tribal art of New Guinea and the Pacific region.
'By the mid-1960s Brown was already the most controversial figure in Australian art. In 1963 a key work was thrown out of a major travelling exhibition for being overtly sexual; a year later he publicly attacked Sydney artists and critics for having failed the test of integrity. Finally, in 1966-67, Brown became the only Australian artist to have been successfully prosecuted for obscenity.
'Brown spent the last 28 years of his life in Melbourne, where his reputation for radicalism and nonconformity was cemented with his multiplicity of styles, exploration of themes of sexuality, and transgressive commitment to the ideal of street art and graffiti. Against a background of the counter-culture and the social and political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, Brown's art and remarkable life of personal and creative struggle is without parallel in Australian art.
'Permanent Revolution is the first full-scale account of Mike Brown's life and work. It is also a ground-breaking portrait of one of the most vital, disputatious and creative periods of Australian art.' (From the publisher's website.)Melbourne : Miegunyah Press , 2011