AN IRRESISTIBLE TEMPTATIONby Carol Baxter

AN IRRESISTIBLE TEMPTATION
by Carol Baxter

An Irresistible Temptation is set against the backdrop of a particularly divisive period in colonial New South Wales. Not only did the scandal titillate Sydney, its legal and political ramifications pushed the colony to the brink of a constitutional crisis and it contributed to the savagery of Governor Darling’s public vilification, bestowing upon Jane New a place in the annals of Australian colonial history.…

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Foundations of Identity

Foundations of Identity

Building Early Sydney 1788-1822. Peter Bridges tells the story of the era (1788-1822) and the philosophies that lay behind the planning of Australia’s first settlement. A central theme of the book describes the building and shaping of Sydney from its origins as a penal camp inhabited by convicts and their gaolers to its emergence as a lively small town where increasing numbers of men and women were going about their daily affairs with growing freedom.…

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A Year At Kew

A Year At Kew

Accompanying a new BBC2 series, A Year At Kew is a revealing month-by-month journey through the garden, following the work of the multitude of dedicated gardeners, visionary scientists, enthusiastic botanists and talented landscape architects who work hard to maintain the unrivaled collections and their environments for future generations.…

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King Bungaree

King Bungaree

Anyone who has worked in the field of early Australian race relations makes the acquaintance of Bungaree, whether as an example of significant collaboration between white and black in many different ways ranging from maritime exploration to the recapturing of escapees, or as a case study exhibiting the essential tragedy of Aboriginal history post contact. This book reveals the unexpectedly wide dimensions of this one Aboriginal life.…

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Joseph Lycett

Joseph Lycett

Short of money in 1809 Joseph Lycett, an engraver, made some beautiful copies of The Bank of England’s five pound notes so that he could live the life of the gentry. Lucky to avoid hanging, he was transported to Sydney in 1814 and in no time at all he flooded the town with excellent copies of five shilling notes. Good at forgery but hopeless at concealment, he was sentenced to three years hard labour in the cola mines at Newcastle where his luck changed. The artistic commandant, Major James Wallis, encouraged him to paint and he later became an artist “in the special employ” of Governor Macquarie, creating hundreds of beautiful paintings of the houses, towns and natural scenery of New South Wales and Tasmania.…

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The Admiral’s Wife Mrs Phillip Parker King

The Admiral’s Wife Mrs Phillip Parker King

Mrs Phillip Parker King was Harriet King 1796-1874 nee Lethbridge, wife of the heroic Australian, Rear-Admiral Phillip Parker King RN 1791-1874. The Admiral’s Wife, is made up of a series of letters “written by the author’s great-grandmother Harriet to her husband Phillip Parker King from England, at sea and from New South Wales, telling of her experiences. Also, letters of great interest include two hitherto unpublished ones by Phillip Parker King and preserved by the families of the recipients in England until quite recently…”…

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Elizabeth Macarthur and Her World

Elizabeth Macarthur and Her World

Elizabeth Macarthur, with her husband John and their infant son, left England in the notorious Second Fleet and arrived in Sydney in 1790. When she first arrived, conditions were primitive, the food supply uncertain and little was known of the country beyond the tiny settlement, by 1850 when she died, settlement had spread over much of the colony of New South Wales and the staple export, wool, was well established. She, her husband and sons made significant contributions to the latter development.…

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The Governor’s Noble Guest

The Governor’s Noble Guest

Baron Hyacinthe de Bougainville was the son of the famous French Pacific navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. This book is a translation of the private diaries kept by the Baron during his stay in New South Wales. In the diaries he recorded both his reactions to the society of the colony and his observations on some of its leading figures, among whom were Governor Brisbane; the explorers Hume, Hovell, Blaxland and Oxley; John Macarthur, Samuel Marsden and John Piper.…

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A Sense of the World

A Sense of the World

“A Sense of the World is a spellbinding and moving rediscovery of one of history’s most epic lives. Drawing on meticulous research, Jason Roberts ushers us into James Holman’s uniquely vivid sensory realm, then sweeps us away on an extraordinary journey across the known world during the Age of Exploration. “Rich with suspense, humour, international intrigue and unforgettable characters, this is a story to awaken our own senses of wonder and awe.”…

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Servant and Master

Servant and Master

While few who dispute the pivotal role of the Macarthurs, the Wentworths and other landed gentry in Australian history, the houses they built also serve as monuments to the generally unchronicled lives of those who made it all work – the labourers the clerks, the servants, the small merchants and the like. Dr Barrie Dyster with the help of his researchers has produced a fascinating insight into the lives and livelihoods of these ordinary people. …

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Early Colonial Furniture

Early Colonial Furniture

The first substantial study of the furniture made in Australia before the 1850s. It examines the influences which were important to the development of the furniture styles of the period and how English styles were transferred to Australia. The authors of this book have now passed on but they have left behind a treasure trove of information about Australia’s colonial furniture and architecture. They led the way with a passion for preserving Australia’s historical past.…

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The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney, set on 30 hectares adjoining the magnificent Sydney Harbour, is a much loved and well frequented haven from city bustle. Dr Gilbert has written a history of the Gardens which leads the reader along the paths of administrative wrangles, into the hothouses of professional jealousies and reveals vistas of backbreaking labour and devotion.…

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Hibiscus insularis (Philip Island Hibiscus)

Hibiscus insularis (Philip Island Hibiscus)

Today, September 2012, we finally observed the Philip Island Hibiscus in bloom at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and managed to capture an image. I learned about this plant some years ago while writing up my research on Allan Cunningham Botanist Explorer 1791-1839. It’s very rare. I’ve known for some time that it bloomed in September but every year prior to 2012 I either forgot about it or a visit to the Sydney Botanic Gardens was inconvenient.…

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Re-Discovering Allan Cunningham

Re-Discovering Allan Cunningham

The pond was darkened by shade with slime along the sides. The water was clear, the mud at the bottom of the pond was visible and the water was quite still like glass, reflecting the surrounding palms. Occasionally water birds created ripples and splashes as they played around a sandstone obelisk. The Obelisk, made of decaying sandstone was standing in the pond like a neglected piece of the past. …

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Journey through Pandoras Pass 1825

Journey through Pandoras Pass 1825

Cunningham set a course NNW in the direction of Premer and Tambar Springs on 5 May, evidently following generally the course of the left bank of Coxs Creek. Heavy rain began to fall again and for two days they made little progress, being further delayed by the injuries borne by some of the men from earlier accidents. Having passed Premer (as it now is), they camped somewhere near Tambar Springs on 8 May.…

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