The Australians

A Social Sketch

Best-known for the scandalous circumstances surrounding his suicide in 1893, Francis Adams (1862–1893) enjoyed a reputation as a proficient, if unpredictable, writer producing a large volume of work in his relatively short life. Adams moved to Australia in the early 1880s, remaining there for several years. Finding the news of Australia in England 'inept', Adams wrote from a desire to educate the English public properly on the Australian people. His work, published in 1893, is divided into two parts. The first describes the geography, culture and society of the 'Pacific slope', the ribbon of settlements along the east coast of Australia. The second half, focused on the eastern interior, deals with the more controversial issues of land ownership and the Aboriginal population in the rural areas in the country. Much of the book draws on Adams' series of articles on Australian life, previously published in the Fortnightly Review.