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.
`This is a wonderful book. At last an Australian foundation story where women are not only found, but are found to have played a fundamental role.' -- Chris Masters
`Brilliantly researched and fun to read. An exhilarating new take on a story we thought we knew.' -- Brenda Niall
`Fascinating revelations. Beautifully told.' -- Peter FitzSimons
'Lively, incisive and timely, Clare Wright's account of the role of women in the Eureka Stockade is an engrossing read. Assembling a tapestry of voices that vividly illuminate the hardscrabble lives endured on Ballarat's muddy goldfields, this excellent book reveals a concealed facet of one of Australia's most famous incidences of colonial rebellion. For once, Peter Lalor isn't the hero: it's the women who are placed front and centre...The Forgotten Rebels links the actions of its heroines to the later fight for female suffrage, and will be of strong relevance to a contemporary female audience. Comprehensive and full of colour, this book will also be essential reading for devotees of Australian history.' * Bookseller and Publisher *
'The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka offers us a full cast of flesh-and-blood women who belong in any telling of the Eureka story, and in any account of Australian goldfields life.' -- Robyn Annear * Monthly *
'Clare Wright's revisionary history of the Eureka stockade is immediately entrancing. A social history of the Ballarat goldfields in Victoria circa 1854, it recreates the landscape as one of bustling domesticity, commerce, theatre and constantly shifting authority. It is a far cry from the stories and images of my school history books which portrayed a shanty town of tents and men.' * Guardian *
'This history is based on impeccable research....The book makes a strong case for the forgotten rebels of Eureka, and it brings to life the experiences of so many young immigrants to Australia in the 1850s. It has been handsomely produced with illustrations, detailed references and index, making it an excellent addition to libraries. Women, in particular, will enjoy this refreshing new look at Eureka, that champions the female role in the development of Australian democracy.' * Sydney Morning Herald/Saturday Age *
'With her new book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, historian Dr. Clare Wright has taken a huge step towards a more truthful examination of the Stockade and its players...What this book does is lay down a new way for women...to view themselves, and for all of us to understand our past through truth rather than reliance on myth.' * King's Tribune *
'A must-have book to add to your collection. Comprehensively researched, throughly illuminating account of the hardships, highlights and the sheer determination of the women of Eureka that shaped our national consciousness.' -- Nicole Maher, Great Escape Books
As Wright points out, for too long Eureka has been a masculine myth. Women's presence has never been fully explored. Indeed, their absence has been assumed. Her work fills an enormous gap. Furthermore, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka supports her claim that women's presence does not just add colour to the picture, it changes the very outline.' * Weekend Australian *
'In The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka [Wright] presents a refreshing take on the 1854 rebellion, by sharing the untold stories of the men, women and children who were there.' * Walkley Magazine *