It’s fairly obvious that I use the Trove Newspapers website a lot. It’s become a part of my family history addiction and I often troll through page after page of search results in the hope of finding new articles and of obtaining from them even the tiniest of clues.
With these newspaper articles (or advertisements) constantly on my laptop screen, printed out, saved to ancestor’s profiles, attached to blog posts or used as supporting evidence, it has also become increasingly obvious to the people around me how much I love the historic newspapers. I guess that’s why the book ‘Front Pages That Shaped Australia’ was a no-brainer when it came to my brother’s decision on what to buy me for Christmas.
Compiled by Stephen Gapps and spanning nearly 400 years of Australian history, the book begins with a published account of the mutiny amongst the crew of the Batavia in 1647. From here and beginning with the first Australian newspaper, The Sydney Gazette, ‘Front Pages That Shaped Australia’ touches on decades of important Australian historical events depicted in print from the early 1800s until 2009.
Such events include: The Rum Rebellion, the discovery of gold, the Eureka massacre, the capture of Ned Kelly, the world wars, the Azaria Chamberlain case, the Bali bombing and the Black Saturday bushfires. Each section includes a breakdown of the history as well as either a headline, newspaper page or image.
A large, solid book, it’s stunningly presented and both informative as well as entertaining. It’s a book that can be read from cover to cover or (thanks to its eye catching graphics) can be flicked through at the reader’s leisure. Whether you’re interested in learning about the role of newspapers during varying periods in Australian history or are simply fascinated by the amazing images, I highly recommend ‘Front Pages That Shaped Australia’.