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This book is a collection of virtual time-travellings back to Australias past. Australian History Live! is a compelling look at Australian history using first person accounts as reported in the press and in journals and diaries. Included in the collection are gripping accounts of occasions both great and minor. Here you can find the heart-wrenching account of a bewildered little terrier dog refusing to leave the bayoneted dead body of its master just killed at the Eureka Stockade. Read an amazing description of Bert Hinkler landing his absurdly tiny little aeroplane (hed just flown it across the world in a world-record time) on the straight at Flemington Racecourse. Share scientist Francis Ratcliffes experience of being caught and shaken by a very wild willy-willy. Enjoy the enchantment of everyday Australians experiencing the magnificent Ballet Russes tour of the 1930s, and hear the screams of laughter as Sydney beaches teem with men donning female swimsuits in hilarious protest.
a plethora of colour images from the National Library of Australia
engaging first-hand accounts from significant moments in Australian history
evocative descriptions that give a sense of being there
an introduction by respected journalist and author Ian Warden
Capturing reactions to past events brings history to life.
Witnesses, as any reporter will tell you, are the ones you want.
If I didn't see a thing myself, then please, let me talk to somebody who did.
How did it happen?
Who else was there?
What did it make you feel?
Were you afraid?
What did it sound like?
Will you ever be the same person again?
These days a lot of witnesses shoot video and upload it to the internet, and that can be a very good thing.
But it can't answer all the questions that race through your mind when you wonder what it was like to be standing there, on that very spot, when the thing happened.
You need a witness for that, and the best witness is the one who is still excited, moved or shaken by the experience.
If that emotional reaction can be captured and distilled, then there you have it.
For as long as the witness's language is still spoken or read, you have the ability to feel as if you really know what it was like to be there.
That's what this wonderful book offers you.
Time travel, as compiler Ian Warden truly describes it.
Warden, a talented writer and humourist whose columns have long graced the pages of The Canberra Times, has drawn together from the seemingly limitless resources of the National Library of Australia - and numerous other collections across the country - an astonishing collection of eyewitness accounts of large and small events in the nation's life.
Great names, such as Governor Hunter, enchanted at the corroboree, rub shoulders with anonymous but rapt or shocked observers of everything from the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge to the bombing of Darwin.
Fires, floods and willy willies. Stomach-churning accounts of massacres of Aboriginal people.
The aftermath of the Eureka Stockade.
The soaring splendour of Dam Nellie Melba's magical voice.Every excerpt is chosen carefully for its ability to "take you there", and most are accompanied by equally well-selected illustrations from the Library's collections of prints, manuscripts and sheet music.