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Author: cheryl

The First Fleet: The Real Story

The First Fleet: The Real Story

Alan Frost

Black Inc: $29.95

Australians have been led to believe for many decades that The First Fleet’s primary aim was to cleanse British society of its convict population by dumping it on these shores. Furthermore, it was believed the voyage itself was poorly planned and haphazardly equipped.

Emeritus Professor of History at La Trobe University, Alan Frost, has recently published evidence to the contrary. In The First Fleet: The Real Story, Frost proves the venture was meticulously planned, well-provisioned, and, considering the fact that this was a long voyage of eight months and one week, amazingly safe.

Death and the Virgin by Chris Skidmore

Death and the Virgin

Chris Skidmore

Orion; Approximately $40.00

It is hardly mere prurience wondering if the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I of England, was, in fact, a virgin during her reign; it is key to  Britain’s most brilliant  monarch.

It would seem, for instance, that she was besotted with Robert Dudley, on whom she showered precious gifts and favours. She made him the Earl of Leicester to the disapproval of much of her court. Its censure was understandable  because both Dudley’s father and his grandfather were executed as traitors. For many years Elizabeth also allowed Dudley to hope that he might be the one taken in marriage to her royal self.

Night Street

Night Street by  Kristel Thornell

Allen & Unwin; $23.99

This is a fictionalised account of part of the life of Clarice Majoribanks Beckett  (1887-1935), a Melbourne artist who created hundreds of evocative landscapes and seascapes.

Clarice Beckett has probably always been much underestimated, even neglected. But  go online, and you will get an idea of her stunning work which seems to be always and primarily  a meditation on the light.

Kristel Thornell brings this wonderful woman to life in Night Street which was a co-winner of 2009’s Vogel Award for young writers. 

Crazy like Them

CRAZY LIKE US: The Globalisation of the American Psyche

by Ethan Watters: Scribe, $32.99

How pervasive is the American culture?

Not only are we getting a sameness in the landscape across the world  – such as the proliferation of the golden arches of  MacDonalds in places like Tiananmen Square, or a Nike factory in Malaysia: America is now exporting its neuroses, courtesy of your ever-helpful drug companies.