THOMAS BATESON (????–????)
A Short History Of Australia (1911)
"It has been said that there is no romance in Australian history. The statement can only be accepted in the very narrowest possible sense. There have been no great wars, no devastating conquests, no dynastic overthrows. The country has never known a Gaveston or a Buckingham. It has scarcely heard the clash of arms. But there are moving tales of the obstacles interposed by nature against the settlement of civilized men. There are instances of statesmanship and short-sighted folly, administrative sternness and individual violence, bravery and timidity, patient suffering and heroic adventure, in which the tide of human interest rises high.
Further, the episodes of Australian history have the romance of great issues. They attended the birth of a nation sprung from our immediate forefathers ; recruited daily from persons with whom we have familiarly talked and worked ; and marching to a destiny, which cannot be foreseen, but promises to be lofty. If our kinsfolk of that nation occupy the whole of their territory, they must dare climatic conditions which the race has never thoroughly tested, and under which some prophets say it cannot thrive. They live as remote as may be from the land of their origin on the very edge of civilization. Yet, according to one speculation, they will be near its centre in days to come, when the Pacific and not the Atlantic will be the highway of the world's activities. Should that occur, the British race will, through them and through the North Americans, still be at the heart of events.
Ten years have now elapsed since the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia. It sealed the union of the colonies, and legally recognized the national existence. That is the point to which we have attempted to carry the story." (Preface)
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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