By William Howitt
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:August 2011
Original Publication Year:1855
Subjects: Australian History , Economic history
In 1852 William Howitt (1792–1879) set sail for Australia with two of his sons in order to try his luck in the goldfields of Victoria. By then he was already a prolifically published author of both prose and verse. He was only moderately successful as a gold-digger, but his account of life in the new colony, published in 1855 after his return to England, provides an extraordinary snapshot of the rapid early growth of Melbourne. Volume 2 considers the effects of the influx of a great number of immigrants and the continuing presence of convicts. Howitt also reflects on government policy and the draft constitution, and describes visits to Sydney and Tasmania. His colourful account includes descriptions of birds and flowers, extreme heat, and how to cope with flies.