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A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia

Ellen Clacy

Book Overview: 

“If you have visions of a middle-aged parasol-bearing lady smiling sweetly from her carriage as she tours Bendigo think again. In 1852, 20 year old clergyman’s daughter Ellen and her brother boarded ship for Melbourne then set off to walk to Bendigo. Dressed in her blue serge skirt which doubled as nightwear, she camped under a tent made of blankets, had mutton, damper and tea most meals and on arrival lent her hand to gold washing. And seemed to enjoy it !
And amongst other things she tells of colonial life , transportation, emigration and other gold-fields.
But you will need to listen to hear more about bush-rangers and orphans as well as what she did with her parasol.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ed which, to my wearied limbs, appeared the softest and most luxuriant upon which I had slept since my arrival in the colonies.

FRIDAY, 10.—With some reluctance I aroused myself from a very heavy slumber produced by the over fatigue of the preceding day. I found every one preparing to start; kindly considerate, my companions thought a good sleep more refreshing for me than breakfast, and had deferred awakening me till quite obliged, so taking a few sailors' biscuits in my pocket to munch on the way, I bade farewell to a spot whose natural beauties I have never seen surpassed.

Proceeding onwards, we skirted the Bald Hill, and entering rather a scrubby tract, crossed a creek more awkward for our drays than dangerous to ourselves; we then passed two or three little coffee-shops, which being tents are always shifting their quarters, crossed another plain, very stony and in places swampy, which terminated in a thickly-wooded tract of gum and wa. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Incredible to think a 'lady' would come here in those early days of the gold rush, let alone travel to the areas and observe things.
Written in the language of the day, with phrases like 'I belong to the pocket edition of the feminine sex, the pit was not quite five foot deep and I could not step ou

Very interesting read. It was great to hear about what Melbourne and Victoria were like all those years ago. Interesting to read about some of the author's adventures too.