Friday 13 September 2013

Our Stories: Eureka Stockade

Our Stories: Eureka Stockade by Marion Littlejohn (Walker Books)
PB RRP $17.95
ISBN 9781922179111
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

The rich history of the Eureka Stockade and the revolt of the miners for their rights was a battle that lasted twenty minutes but marked ‘the birth of democracy in Australia’.

Welcome to another outstanding history from the Our Stories collection. It opens from the Guttenberg Press and the birth of knowledge and learning opening up for more than the select few. The chapters flow through the French Revolution, the poverty and slums of Britain’s poor as people moved into the overcrowded cities, on to the Irish Potato Famine which initiated the migration of countless people to Australia.

All these former things with many that are unmentioned, follow a common thread of the downtrodden  rising up, demanding rights to join the changes that were brought on by  the ‘People’s Charter’ that was drafted by William Lovett which, having failed in Britain, would succeed on the Ballarat goldfields.

There is so much information packed into this book which is comprised of 30 pages (not including glossary and references) on the subjects of settlement, political, cultural, social and economical history of Australia, a history of immigration ranging from poverty to opportunity, and the tremendous change that occurred during these historical times.

These books are educational while entertaining. They’re written in a sparse but precise style with supporting archival pictures which visually reinforce the text. This series comes highly recommended for the 8+ age group.

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