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History of New Zealand. Vol. III.

History Of Australia: First Edition, 1883

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History Of Australia: First Edition, 1883.

“… Mr. G. W. Rusden's excellent ‘History of Australia.’ Mr. Rusden's work must always be the standard authority on all points relating to the early history and growth of the Australian colonies. It comprises complete records of the chief political and social events connected with those colonies, and interesting sketches of the leading public men.

“No one who wishes to trace the growth and progress of Australia can dispense with these volumes.” — Quarterly Review, April, 1885.

We commend to the attention of both countries the elaborate and thoughtful ‘History of Australia,’ which has lately appeared from the pen of Mr. G. W. Rusden.

“The narrative of the struggle of the earlier Governors — Phillip, Macquarie, Darling, Bourke, of men of political genius like Wentworth, of explorers like Eyre and Alfred Howitt and King, with an untamed land and countrymen almost untameable, deserves study equally in Great Britain and in Australia.

“Mr. Rusden complains, not without cause, and very temperately, that for ‘some evils in the colonies the British Government has been largely responsible.” — Times, 7th December, 1883.

In this work, as in the former, no pains have been spared to collect and analyze all evidence, of whatever weight… . It need hardly be added that, as a colonist, Mr. Rusden is colonial in his views; but, remembering the closeness with which the interests of the two countries are combined, this is not a weakness to which great exception can be taken.

“Everything he writes is to the point, his present work deserving as much praise as was bestowed upon its predecessor.” — Daily Telegraph, 27th December, 1883.

In writing a history of the colonial continent, Mr. Rusden completes the important and considerable work commenced in his ‘History of New Zealand.’ Australia, in its collective form, is the page break most interesting of all the offshoots of the mother country.” — Morning Post, 4th January, 1884.

The three massive volumes of this history complete the account of our Australasian settlements, which the author had already begun in his preceding volumes dealing with New Zealand.

“In comprehensiveness of range, as well as in minute accuracy of detail, all these volumes seem to us to surpass those of preceding writers, and their appearance is akin to an era in the history-writing of the rising and important part of the world, which is their subject…

“In the long chapter (XIV.) on the discovery of gold, in particular, we have in the great array of well-assorted facts a most important contribution to Australian history… Upon the whole we must highly commend this work as deserving really the exceptional position of a public service.” — The Colonies and India, 28th December, 1883.

Mr. G. W. Rusden has soon followed up his exhaustive book on New Zealand with his ‘History of Australia.’

“We cannot do more than earnestly call attention to a work which does for the hundred years of Australian history what Mr. Froude did for the century of Tudor rule. Mr. Rusden gives us the character and doings of every Governor; nothing the unmixed evil wrought by such men as Grose and Paterson, and Hunter; the efforts of Marsden to put down the liquor traffic; the strange mixture of useful energy and low moral tone shown by men like D'Arcy Wentworth.

“Every page of his first volume is as interesting as a first-class novel, and yet he is full of detail, giving pièces justificatives (quotations from speeches, letters, Orders-in-Council, &c.) for every statement. The story of the Irish conspiracy at Sydney and Norfolk Island is well worth reading…

“The book will be a storehouse for future writers, for before long the history of Australasia will have to be read in our schools and studied by competitive examinees. Meanwhile, these volumes must form a part of every public library that cares to be abreast of the times.” — The Graphic, 22nd December, 1883.

We cannot resist referring to Mr. Rusden's open and fearless exposure of the iniquities of the Queensland settlers in their dealings with the natives, where no partisan feeling prevents him from appearing as the bold and generous advocate of right and justice. Some of the paragraphs quoted here from Queensland papers are almost incredible as coming from men of English blood and education… Everyone who has the highest interests our qivilisation at heart ought certainly to read Mr. Rusden's collection page break of evidence on this hideous and distressing question.” — Pall Mall Gazette, 19th February, 1884.

“From first to last Mr. Rusden never relaxes his broad grasp of his subject, nor fails to show that he writes with the serious purpose of promoting the unity of the British Empire.” — Standard, 27th March, 1884.

“If anyone be in doubt whether Australia is capable of furnishing materials for such a history he has only to consult Mr. Rusden's work to be conclusively satisfied. It was high time that such a work should be undertaken… Mr. Rusden has done his work well and thoroughly.” — Globe, 22nd February, 1884.

The reader will rise from the perusal of Mr. Rusden's work with the conviction that Australia has a history of an interest so exceptional as to be almost unique.

“Still, sad as it is to find the historian of a young community falling, when he writes of politics, into the tone of a Tacitus, we do not doubt that Mr. Rusden's severity is not merely the result of severe conviction, but is in some degree justified by the facts… It is fair to say that Mr. Rusden, though so strong in invective, can also praise, and pays a handsome tribute to the memory of men like Macarthur, the founder of the Australian wool trade, Phillip and King, the early governors, and we may add Sir George Gipps, of whom not only Australia, but England may well be proud. His principal hero is, however, William Charles Wentworth, the ‘Australian patriot,’ who for some fifty years was in the front of every movement in New South Wales, whether it were to found a university or a constitution, or even—nearly thirty years ago—a federal assembly… There is another kind of Australian history neither glorious nor at all familiar to us, but for dwelling on which Mr. Rusden deserves the thanks of all English people, since it is only fitting that, in our pride as great replenishers of the earth, we should know clearly how that work is done. We mean the history of those who were Australians before Dampier looked with the first English eyes upon their coast…” — Saturday Review, 27th September, 1884.