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James Boyce, 1835: the founding of Melbourne and the conquest of Australia.

James Boyce, 1835: the founding of Melbourne and the conquest of Australia, Black Inc, Collingwood Vic, 2011, xiii + 257 pages; ISBN 978 1 86395 475 4.

The speculators from Van Diemen's Land who camped on the Victorian coast in 1835 were the first settlers of what was to become Melbourne. The southern capital was thus the only one of Australia's major cities to be established by private enterprise rather than government sanction. James Boyce follows on from his award-winning Van Diemen's Land (2008) to investigate how the three years after that first camp was established saw more land and more people conquered than the preceding 50 years of white settlement. Within 15 years settlers had seized most of the grasslands of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and southern Queensland, an area of nearly 20 million acres. Boyce sets the scene for this land rush with a series of chapters on London, Sydney, Van Diemen's Land, Bass Strait and the Yarra in 1835, then goes on to describe the first year of the settlement and the 'explosive growth' which ensued. A handful of maps are the only illustrations, but the book is wellfootnoted and has a comprehensive bibliography.

Anne-Maree Whitaker

Book Review Editor

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Title Annotation:BOOK NOTES
Author:Whitaker, Anne-Maree
Publication:Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2011
Words:203
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