The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia’s foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there.
What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of bullets?
As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles. The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own.
Groundbreaking, absorbing, crucially important—The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is the uncut story of the day the Australian people found their voice.
About the Author
Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.
What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learned about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if their wives and families weren’t far away across the watery wastes, but right by their sides? What if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, standing up for their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of military-issue bullets?
And what if the soldiers who were firing upon civilians—including women—were themselves husbands and fathers, with their wives and babes not two miles away crouched within a sand-bagged government camp?
How do the answers to these questions change what more than one hundred and fifty years of Eureka scholarship, commemoration and celebration have taught us about the so-called ‘birthplace of Australian democracy’?
Who—in fact—were the midwives to that precious delivery?