Book Give Away to Celebrate 200 Posts!

I am celebrating my 200th post on Stumbling Through the Past and five years of blogging. As I said in my last post, the readers of this blog have contributed to these milestones through your comments and encouragement over the years. I

I deeply appreciate of all the support you have shown over the years. To say thank you to you I am giving you the chance to win one of my favourite Australian history books that I have reviewed over the last few years. It was hard to choose and there were many more worthy books I could have chosen. I chose these because they are beautifully written, deeply researched and for one reason or another have had quite an impact on my life.  This is a celebration of Australian writing and publishing.

You could win:

The Europeans in Australia: Volume Three by Alan Atkinson

Book Cover of Atkinson's book.

The Europeans in Australia. Volume Three: Nation by Alan Atkinson (UNSW Press, 2014).

In my reflections on this book I wrote:

Covering the period from the 1870s to the end of the Great War, Atkinson shares his unique perspective of the human forces that shaped Australian societies during a tumultuous period. This is more than an Australian story. It is a history of humanity as lived in the antipodes. Atkinson writes about big themes that exercised people throughout the world. This is not simply a synopsis of research by other historians.

This is a great book that challenges the reader to think differently about the European history of Australia.

Read all my reflections on this book.

Alan Atkinson has been a wonderful mentor for me from the time that he guided me on an undergraduate history essay. I played a very small role in this book by doing some research work for him and some early editing work.

This book has won the 2015 Victorian Prize for Literature and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Non-Fiction, the CHASS Australia Book Prize, the Australian History Prize in the 2015 NSW Premier’s History Awards and joint winner of the Ernest Scott Prize 2015.

The Europeans in Australia: Volume III was published by UNSW Press who have generously donated a copy for you to win!

Kitty’s War by Janet Butler

Kitty's War by Janet Butler, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2013).

Kitty’s War by Janet Butler, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 2013).

I loved this book from the first page and have reread it several times. In my review I wrote:

This is the kind of history I want to read.  Thorough research, deep analysis and compelling writing,Kitty’s War by Janet Butler engaged me from cover to cover.

In Kitty’s War author, Janet Butler, does not merely recount what she has learned from the diary of World War I nurse, Kit McNaughton, she interrogates McNaughton’s diary, draws heavily on a myriad of contemporary historical resources and produces a searching analysis of war, gender and the nature of diary writing while maintaining an engrossing narrative.

Read the rest of my review.

I was delighted when Janet Butler won the 2013 NSW Premier’s History Prize – Australia History Prize and the 2014 W K Hancock Prize from the Australian Historical Association.

Kitty’s War was published by UQP who have generously donated a copy for you to win!

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

Dark Emu: Black seeds agriculture or accident by Bruce Pascoe (Broome, WA: Magabala Books, 2014).

Dark Emu: Black seeds agriculture or accident by Bruce Pascoe (Broome, WA: Magabala Books, 2014).

Several members of my family have read this book and it has had a big impact on them. We all recommend it to other readers. In my original review I said:

I had a wonderful day reading Dark Emu: Black seeds: agriculture of accident? by Bruce Pascoe. Engagingly written, full of interesting material and a modest 176 pages, it was the ideal end-of-conference read.

Pascoe draws on the work of Bill Gammage, R Gerritsen and others as well as his own research to make a strong argument for the reconsideration of our understanding of the way Aboriginal people lived in colonial times. He draws extensively from the journals of explorers to present a remarkable array of evidence about the agricultural and technological sophistication of Australian Aboriginal people before contact.

Read the rest of my review.

Dark Emu was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Indigenous Literary Award for Indigenous Writing in 2014.

Dark Emu was published by Magabala Books who have generously donated a copy for you to win!

Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright

Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Text Publishing, 2013).

Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Text Publishing, 2013).

You know a writer is good if she completely changes a young person’s attitude to the history of the Australian gold rush from detesting and avoiding reading about it. When my daughter recommended Clare Wright’s writing to me, I knew I had to read her book. Her writing inspired the writing of my review:

This book is bold. A bed-time story this ain’t. Its prose slaps you around the face to make sure you are paying attention. It is assertive and provocative. It sucks you into the time that was, on the Ballarat goldfields of the mid-nineteenth century.

Clare Wright set out to write women back into the history of the Ballarat Gold Fields and the rebellion now known as the Eureka Stockade.  Yet this book is much more than an account of the few weeks leading up to the violence and its aftermath. This book is successful at engaging the reader with this history because so much care and space is given to sharing the context in which the Eureka Stockade took place. This helps the reader understand the women and men of the goldfields as real people.

Read the rest of my review.

I wrote this review when the book had just been published. Months later Clare Wright won the prestigious women’s writing award, The Stella Prize, and the popular ABC website, The Drum, asked for permission to publish an edited form of my review. Here is the review on The Drum. This book also won the Nib: Waverley Library Award for Literature.

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka was published by Text Publishing who have generously donated a hardcover copy, signed by the author for you to win!

The Publishers

This competition not just a celebration of impressive historical writing in Australia; it is a celebration of Australia’s thriving publishing industry and in particular independent publishers. Time and again independent publishers in Australia have success because they support quality writing and innovative ideas.

Magabala Books in Broome concentrates on publishing the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors. They support scholarships for indigenous writers and literacy programs.

Text Publishing is a highly respected Melbourne publishing house. They were awarded the Small Publisher of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014 at the Australian Book Industry Awards

UQP started as a university press but now successfully publishes a broad range of quality books for the general public. They support the David Unaipon Award which gives a publishing contract to a previously unpublished indigenous writer.

NewSouth Books in Sydney publishes a large number of Australian history books. The owner of the NewSouth imprint, UNSW Press, has established the UNSW Press Literary Fund to support the work of literary non-fiction work aimed at a general audience.

How You Can Win!

I want to hear from you about what you like about this blog, what you would like me to write about in the future and any other suggestions. I welcome constructive criticism. Complete this form and you will go into the draw. I will choose the winner via because how can you judge which is the best opinion?

This competition will run until 10am Sunday 6th March 2016, Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. The names of winners will be published on this blog.


Because of the generosity of the publishers in donating the books, I am opening this competition up to the whole world!

You will need to give me a valid email address so that I can inform you of your win. I will not pass this email address on to anyone and will only use it for the purposes of this competition. If you are a winner I will contact you for your mail address. If you don’t respond to the email within four days, I will find another winner.

As part of the conditions of entry you give me permission to publish your comments together with your first name and where you come from. Entry into the competition does not guarantee that your comment will be published.

Only one entry per person will be accepted so more people have a chance to win.

Entry Form

Answer at least one of the three following questions to enter the competition!

Thank you to every one who entered. Emails have now gone to the successful entrants – James, Jo, Robyn and Helen!


5 thoughts on “Book Give Away to Celebrate 200 Posts!

    • Thanks for pointing that out to me. Had a quick look and wasn’t inspired by the paucity of the list. Could only think of the heaps of books that should be on it that aren’t – they have them listed elsewhere. Do you know why or in what context they created this list?


  1. Oh dear, I missed the deadline. Never mind. I would find it hard to say which post of yours I liked the most because I’ve enjoyed several – but I’ll just say I most enjoy posts about historiography, and I have enjoyed those dealing with how the digital world is impacting/helping historical research and writing! I hope you are well – sounds like you are very busy!


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