Sunday, January 3, 2010

Capital: Melbourne when it was the capital of Australia 1901 - 1927

1901 Federation of Australia and the opening of the Australian parliament and for the next 27 years Melbourne was the interim capital city of Australia until the establishment of Canberra. Kristin Otto describes what living in Melbourne was like during those years. This social history of the times focuses on the people and events that made the city a special place during a time frame that began with the celebrations and expectations for Federation and included the Great War and its aftermath. It is the interwoven stories of the people of Melbourne who are the feature of the book - Helena Rubinstein, Alfred Felton. Tom Roberts, John Wren, Squizzy Taylor, Nellie Melba, Percy Grainger, Macpherson Robertson, H V McKay, Billy Hughes, Sidney Myer, John Monash, C J Dennis, George Nicholas, Keith Murdoch to name a few. Buildings also play a part including the Exhibition Building, Flinders Street Station, Coles Book Arcade, Luna Park, Capital Theatre, Cafe Australia, Myers and Coles. It was an age with an emphasis on the use of new communication technologies and transport. Photographs throughout the book expand the text. The spirit of a vibrant city is captured in this book.

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