Late nineteenth-century Australia claimed one of the world's highest standards of living and was seen as one of the most successful examples of the transplantation of British culture. Yet beneath the surface prosperity, there lay a great deal of uncertainty and conflict, including clashes among churches, the crash of the 1890s, pressure for federation, and the challenging of traditional views of education, women's roles, and the family. This volume takes a skeptical look at many of the common perceptions of Australia in the Victorian era, concentrating on human values rather than on the rhetoric of national achievement.
"[A] very interesting volume....A very solid contribution to the understanding of Australia's historical development."--Choice"Both her deft deployment of illustrative examples and her perceptive generalizations are impressive....Anyone wishing to know how far Australia lived up to its reputation as a working man's paradise in the late nineteenth century will find this a stimulating introduction."--History