Written for adults, this book is the start of a whole new series which examines how the golden affluence of Ballarat was found, extracted and spent in the years 1851-55.
The book highlights the crucial ingredient for success and that is understanding and intelligence. Successful mining required never ending reflection by the diggers on their experience, especially on their problems, difficulties and failures. Deep sinking required deep thinking.
Fortunately, the diggers not only talked about gold around camp fires or at the pub, they also talked to reporters or wrote letters to newspapers.
In The Astonishing History of Ballarat we join the diggers on their quest for understanding. We can virtually hear them thinking.
The Convincing Content.
1848-50. The Discovery of Gold in the Port Phillip District.
How a shepherd found Victoria’s first gold but failed to produce a goldrush.
- The Discovery of Gold in Victoria.
How a publican, a squatter, some more shepherds, a doctor, and an ex mailman, found the gold that produced the Victorian goldrush.
- The Discovery of Gold at Ballarat.
How the Ballarat gold field was discovered by Thomas Hiscock at Buninyong,
and by old John Dunlop and young James Regan at Poverty Point,
and by Old Tom Brown of Connor’s Party at Golden Point.
- The Genesis of Ballarat.
How the diggers arrived, mined, lived, and governed themselves at Ballarat.
- The Exodus from Ballarat.
Why the diggers left Ballarat when they had found less than 1% of Ballarat’s gold.
- The Monster Nuggets.
Why Sarah Sands from Ballarat was introduced to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle.
- Settling Down on Ballarat.
How and why some diggers settled permanently at Ballarat as miners.
- Mining in the year of Eureka.
How the miners tackled the problems of shepherding and
the mining consequences of the Eureka Stockade.
- The Gravel Pits.
How the miners of Ballarat Flat learnt to work ‘in the water.’
- Towards the Tableland.
What the miners did when they hit a ‘wall of rock.’